Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mum's Bishops Cake

When I was younger I remember my Mum baking up a storm at Christmas time - there were puddings and cakes and mini truffles and all sorts of goodies. One of the things I remember most is this Bishops Cake. Mum always used to make a heap of them and then cut them in half and give them away as gifts to people. I used to think it was a bit rough giving people half a cake, but now i understand why....they look so pretty when they are cut and I believe the name comes from the fact that they look like a stained glass window when cut - to be honest when I was little I thought it was because the nuts in the top looked like a Bishops Hat...hey, it's totally plausible!

Anyway, this year I wanted to make something to give a few of the special people in my life and this was the first thing that came to mind - it's delicious, it's pretty and it's easy, ticks all the boxes!!

Now this recipe makes 1 tall loaf or I actually doubled the recipe and baked it in a sheet pan which gave me 8 decent sized squares...they weren't as tall as the ones I remember Mum making, but still looked great!

All you need is:

250g brazil nuts
250g macadamia nuts
12 pitted dates
2 glace pineapple circles cut into chunks
6 glace apricots sliced
1 cup red and green glace cherries
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tspn vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 150C

Grease a 21x11cm loaf tin or a large sheet cake pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Place the nuts and fruit in a bowl.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the fruit.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until nice and thick. Pour over the fruit and nut mixture and stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into prepared tin - try to arrange it so you get a good mix of everything.

Bake for around 45 - 60mins. I recommend checking it at 45mins with a skewer, if the cake is golden and the skewer is clean then it's done, if not, give it another 10-15mins.

Allow the cake to cool before removing from pan and peeling off the baking paper.

Now like I said before, if you are giving this away and you make a single loaf, then cut it in half or if you make a sheet cake, cut into nice squares. I recommend using an electric knife to cut it as it looks really pretty with a nice straight edge. I have wrapped all my pieces in two layers of cling wrap and then in some cellophane and they make really nice gifts to give to people, plus you get the added bonus of a home made pressie :)

And Mum tells me this cake is best served sliced very thin (with your electric knife) with a nice tasty cheese!

Em x

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