Prune, Orange and Fennel Cake

This Cake recipe was handed to us a few months ago by Ruth – founder of the Black Isle Bakery. It’s very simple to prepare and it would make a great addition to a festive breakfast.

For the Cake:

175g butter, unsalted and softened

175g caster sugar 3 eggs at room temperature

200g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp of Seville orange marmalade (chop the peel if very chunky)

½ tsp of fennel seeds, freshly ground in a mortar and pestle

250g prunes, stoned and roughly chopped

For the syrup:

1-2 tbsp marmalade (chop the peel if it is very chunky)

2 tbsp brandy

½ tsp fennel seeds, fairly roughly ground in a mortar and pestle

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 25 cm loaf pan with baking paper.

Cream the butter and caster sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and ensure each is completely beaten into the mixture before adding the next. You can add a teaspoon or so of flour at the same time to avoid curdling the eggs.

Sift the plain flour and baking powder together and then sift into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Add the ground fennel seeds and fold everything together gently. Once almost entirely combined add the marmalade and fold through until everything is completely mixed in. You might want to beat the marmalade with a spoon for a few seconds before adding to the cake mixture. This will just smooth it out and make it a little easier to blend into the mix.

Place the chopped prunes into the bottom of the loaf pan. Spoon the cake mixture over and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake in the oven for around 45- 50 minutes or until the cake springs back and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking mix the brandy, marmalade and fennel seeds in a small pan and bring to the boil. Take off the heat. Once the cake is fully baked, stab the top all over with a skewer and evenly pour over the brandy, marmalade and fennel seed syrup.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for at least 5-10 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely.

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