25 November 2015

An Irish Whiskey, Pecan Fruit Loaf

Oooh poor, sad, little neglected blog! How you must think me so mean? But I have good reason... There are simply not enough hours in the day.

I did a simple maths equation. I calculated what I need to do each day and how much time each thing would take. In order to successfully accomplish, home, work, study, life, blog, fun, friends etc etc.. I need another 3 point something extra hours per day. Rounded up to 4.

I need 4 extra hours a day to do what I just need to do. Simple.

But that's not going to be happening any time soon. So some things get neglected. Sorry blog...

This cake was baked along with my baking group The Cake Slice Bakers and honoured the start of our new book Maida Heatter's Cakes. It was a simple choice this month.. I'm the only Irish baker in the group, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to make the Irish Whiskey Cake!

Irish Whiskey, Pecan Fruit Loaf
- adapted from Maida Heatter's Cake pg 169

450g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of two lemons
juice of one lemon
zest of one orange
juice of one orange
140g soft butter (+ 1 tablespoon for after baking)
1 teaspoon vanilla
250g light, soft brown sugar
2 eggs, separated
125ml Irish Whiskey (I used Jameson)
125g raisins
180g toasted chopped pecans

Pre-heat your oven to 180C, 350F or gas mark 4.
Line a large loaf tin with parchment.
Chop the pecans and pop them on a baking tray and into the heating oven for about 10 minutes to toast.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon, orange juice and zest together and leave to one side.
Cream your butter and sugar until soft and and sandy, then add the vanilla and the eggs yolks until mixed well. 
Dry whisk or sieve all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Alternate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using half a cup of whiskey at a time. 
Add the fruit mix and fold it in with a rubber spatula. 
Fold in the juice and zest.
Fold in the toasted pecans.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks have formed. Fold them through the mixture, being careful not to over work the egg whites.
Transfer to you lined tin and smooth out the top.

Bake in your preheated oven for up to an hour. Check it from 50 minutes on. Cover it loosely in tinfoil to stop it over browning on the top if you want to. 

A skewer when inserted in the middle should come out clear or clear-ish. It's a moist cake, you might get some crumbs! Once the cake is out, smear that extra tablespoon of butter on top and allow to cool.

Leave the cake in the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Take it out and allow it to cool fully. I popped this into the fridge over night as the recipe directed and then sliced it cold. I much preferred it at room temperature, so wouldn't bother with the fridge part. But that is up to you...

This book is just wonderful to read through. The tidbits of information as to why things are done a certain way, were just old worlde delightful. But in my current real world terms, not very time friendly.

I have skipped a few steps in the book and left out a few ingredients because I didn't have them to hand. I am sure, the cake made to the exact specifications would have been truly amazing.

This cake was fabulous. It was dense and soft and had all the traditional charm of an Irish fruit loaf. A thick slice toasted and smeared with some real butter made a delicious on the go breakfast. Another one in my cake-for-breakfast category.

Have a gander at what my other lovely baker buddies made.. I think we've got another good year ahead of us!

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