The idea ofdried fruit soaked in booze reminds me of my paternal grandmother making ourfamily´s treasured recipe for plum pudding, a recipe brought from Ireland by mygreat (or was it great-great?) grandmother. The funny thing is that was mymother´s side of the family, but turns out my father´s side kept the tradition alive.
Anyway, that´s not this cake ofcourse, that one took days to make, a large part seeding raisins, because,according to those who had tasted the original recipe make by the originalbaker, it tasted differently with `those new raisins with no seeds´.
A snackcake is always handy. It can be served with coffee or tea, left on the counterto snack on it during the day, or embellished with a dollop of something sweetand silky like dulce de leche and call it a dessert. Any way you eat it itfeels somewhat wholesome, almost like it has some kind of whole wheat flour init, which it doesn´t.
The flavors are all there and it depends of how muchspices you add to it. I grate a lot of fresh nutmeg into the batter, justbecause I love it. And using my deep smelling vietnamese cinnamon did make adifference. But it´s not crucial.
It hasquite a lot of raisins and walnuts in relation to the amount of batter. It´sdefinitely a fruit and nut cake, which I think are terribly underrated and goodto consume year round.
WALNUT RAISIN SNACK CAKE
a bitadapted from Maida Heatter´s Book of Great Dessert, by Maida Heatter
Makes 8 servings
2 cupssifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoonsbaking soda
A fewgratings fresh nutmeg
1 Tbsunsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup(115g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups(230g) applesauce, I used this recipe
2 cups(200g) walnut pieces, toasted and very coarsely chopped
Powderedsugar, to dust
Dulce deleche, to serve
Soakraisins in cognac for at least 6 hours or overnight. Turn mixture occasionally.
Preheatoven to 350ºF. In a baking tray, distribute walnuts evenly and toast for 10minutes. Let cool and reserve.
Spray orbutter a 9×13 inch baking pan and dust with fine, dry breadcrumbs.
Sift flour,cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cocoa in a medium bowl.
In a largebowl beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well until the mixtureis light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beginningwith dry ingredients, add them in three additions, alternating with applesaucein two additions. Mix only to incorporate.
Add raisinswith any liquid and walnuts and mix without beating. Pour into prepared pan andbake for 40 to 50 minutes, until top springs back when lightly touched and atester comes out clean. Don´t overbake it.
Let cool onwire rack and serve dusted with powdered sugar and a dollop of dulce de leche.