Thursday, 14 June 2007

Snow Topped Spice Cake

Photo courtesy of Sean - he thought the bundt tin deserved a portrait. He was right.

This cake - fruitless, light but aromatic - is the perfect replacement for the standard Christmas cake
- Nigella Lawson

I made this for our Christmas in June celebrations last weekend. I think it was the standout part of the meal.

The Verdict

Unusual or substituted ingredients None really. Just the usual Nigella favourites like Dark Muscovado sugar and a range of spices that are fairly common like cloves and all-spice. What's special about the cake though is the mixing in of 6 large eggwhites right before it's ready to bake. It makes the mixture look like honeycomb and creates an amazing lightness in the final product. For the first time ever, I'd like to add, I defrosted eggwhites I'd frozen (according to adivce from Nigella I'd picked up somewhere along the way. Who knew I'd actually ever remember to use them?)

Special Untesils or Cookware Oh yes. A whopping great big and expensive bundt tin! I've always wanted one and so must confess it was part of the reason for choosing this cake. Nigella didn't use one with a funnel and in the end I went with one, despite my reservations. RoseRed and the woman at the specialty shop assured me, at the last minute, that it would be ok. It was.

Repeatability Oh yes. I'd make this again in a heartbeat, Christmas or not. In fact, I'll be making it again next month when my sister comes to visit, since she had to miss out on this meal for reasons beyond her control. Not only that, but when you spend a fortune on a cake tin, you want to use it as much as possible.

Another portrait by Sean.

Sauciness This cake is divine. It's rich, but not too rich, and luciously decadent. It also looks wonderfully impressive, I think.

It slipped almost effortlessly out of the tin - here it is, above, freshly tipped out and then photographed by Sean, who thought this cake was a great opportunity for cute photography. I was worried the corrugations in the tin wouldn't translate to the cake. But they did, even the little diamond shapes on the top that you can sort of see above. It was a delight in every sense - oh except for the extra long lunch break I spent trying to find the tin. But you get that. We must suffer for our art at some point, I suppose.

Overall pleasure level Look at how it scrubbed up! Even me, with my very, very mediocre cake decorating skills, managed make it look quite passable. I added the holly for Christmas but might fill it with berries or something some time. I absolutely loved this cake. Best I've had in recent memory - and it's got some stiff competition, let me tell you.