• Almond and raisin tea cake

    raisin tea cake

    I’ve been thinking about this cake ever since my mum emailed me earlier this week, asking for a good recipe for cake aux fruits confits.

    Growing up, cake aux fruits confits was always the last one left on a birthday dessert table. Slices of dry cake, studded with always too little candied cherries, of the bright-red kind, which if you’d asked me twenty years ago were the best part about this loaf cake.

    Of course, my dad who’s always been fond of the store-bought kind (same goes for madeleines, go figure!), would heavily disagree. But to be completely honest, as I read my mum’s email, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that good and cake aux fruits confits don’t really go hand in hand. A thought that I’d soon learn how to let go.

    As any new recipe I work on, I make a mental list of the things I want and do not want in the finished product.
    Here I was trying to go as far away as possible from the fruit cakes I used to make when I first moved to London. Rich with dark brown sugar, many raisins and manier currants, and loaded with so much candied fruits you’d wonder where the cake batter had gone.

    What I wanted was a moist sponge with a slightly dense crumb and deeper flavours, studded with plump raisins and delicate candied fruits. A light-golden crust, made soft with ground almonds on the batter and a generous wash of tea-infused sugar syrup on the warm loaf.

    I made the cake this morning, as water was boiling for the first of many French-press-fuls of coffee. And I liked it so much that I thought you might too. Et pour toi aussi Maman <3

    I had to leave out the candied fruits, because I didn’t have any at home, and really, I’m pretty certain that the Swedes are wise enough to leave them out from their supermarkets’ shelves; yes, I truly think I haven’t spotted any since we moved here, not that I’ve been restlessly looking for fruits confits.
    It made for a wonderful almond and raisin tea cake, but if you’re after a cake aux fruits confits, you could most definitely replace some of the raisins with candied fruits, as noted in the recipe below.

    raisin tea cake sliced

    Almond and raisin tea cake

    Makes one loaf

    boiling water
    100 g raisins
    1 Breakfast tea bag

    125 g butter, soft
    70 g light brown sugar
    50 g caster sugar
    1 tsp vanilla sugar
    3 eggs
    100 g plain flour
    80 g ground almonds
    1 tsp baking powder
    120 g raisins or candied fruits
    (see note above)

    A hour before staring, soak the raisins in boiling water – enough to cover them completely. Add the tea bag and set aside until needed.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (for a fan-assisted oven). Butter and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

    Drain the raisins, pressing well to get rid of any excess liquid, and making sure to save the soaking liquid, which we’ll later use to make a syrup to brush the warm loaf with.

    Cream the butter and sugars for 5-6 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    In another bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and raisins (or candied fruits, if using).
    Pour over the butter mixture and fold gently using a wooden spoon or spatula, until smooth. Finally fold in the soaked raisins and pour the batter into the prepared tin.

    Bake for 10 minutes at 180°C, then reduce the temperature to 160°C and bake for a further 30-35 minutes, or until the sponge feels springy to the touch.
    In the meantime, weigh out 100 g of the soaking syrup into a small pan and add 70 g of caster sugar. Bring to the boil. When the cake is baked, immediately brush the syrup on top of the warm loaf.
    Allow to cool down completely and unmould.

    This cake will keep for days at room temperature,well-wrapped in clingfilm.

    whisk

    Cake aux raisins ou Cake aux fruits confits

    Pour un cake

    100 g raisins secs
    eau bouillante
    1 sachet de thé anglais

    125 g beurre, mou
    3 oeufs
    70 g vergeoise blonde
    50 g sucre
    1 càc sucre vanillé
    100 g farine T55
    80 g amandes en poudre
    1 càc levure chimique
    120 g raisins secs ou fruits confits

    Un heure avant de commencer, placer les raisins secs dans un bol supportant la chaleur et verser de l’eau bouillante pour les recouvrir. Ajouter le sachet de thé et laisser infuser pendant 1 heure.

    Préchauffer le four à 180°C (pour un four ventilé). Beurrer un moule à cake et le recouvrir de papier cuisson.

    Egoutter les raisins en prenant soin de bien les presser afin d’extraire un maximum d’eau. Réserver l’eau de trempage qui servira par la suite à imbiber le cake.

    Battre le beurre avec les sucres pendant 5-6 minutes. Ajouter les oeufs, un à un, en battant environ une minute après chaque oeuf.

    Dans un bol, mélanger la farine, poudre d’amandes, levure chimique et fruits confits (ou la seconde pesée de raisins secs pour un cake aux raisins). Verser sur le beurre et incorporer la farine à l’appareil en utilisant une cuillère ou spatule jusqu’à obtention d’une pâte bien lisse.
    Finalement, ajouter les raisins secs préalablement égouttés et mélanger brièvement.
    Verser l’appareil dans le moule à cake beurré.

    Cuire 10 minutes, puis abaisser la température à 160°C et poursuivre la cuisson pendant environ 30-35 minutes.
    Pendant ce temps, verser 100 g du liquide de trempage des raisins dans une petite casserole et ajouter 70 g de sucre. Porter à ébullition et réserver.

    Une fois cuit, imbiber le cake encore chaud à l’aide d’un pinceau. Laisser refroidir complètement, puis démouler.
    Ce cake se conserve très bien à température ambiante, enveloppé dans du papier film.

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