This legendary candied fruit and dried fruitcake was invented in Scotland - it is still customary to give it to relatives and friends in beautiful tin boxes. For many centuries, it has been considered a traditional Christmas delicacy in all English-speaking countries, including half French-speaking Canada. But the uniqueness of “Dundee” (eng. Dundee) is that it is baked a month before the holiday, and then it reaches the desired consistency in a dry and dark place for three to four weeks.
When the best friend, constantly inspiring me to new culinary discoveries and experiments, reported on this particular cake, I could not believe for a long time. Since childhood, I got used to the fact that any pastry loses its charm with a decrease in degree - at least, my branded muffins are good while warm. But experienced cooks unanimously say: “Dundee”, as a good guilt, takes time to finally ripen. Embraced, it reaches an ideal moisture content and literally melts in your mouth. Candied fruits and dried fruits are absorbed into the sponge cake, filling it with spicy citrus-almond flavor.
Not surprisingly, on Christmas Eve, Montreal's supermarkets are filled with briquettes of bright colors. Fragrant sweet fruit cupcakes are sold in a transparent film - so they attract more attention and ask the table invitingly. I decided to bake Dundee myself.
I urge you to follow my example, but I warn you: it is worth preparing Dundee only to those who are sure of their character. Can you imagine how unbearable it is to pack this delicacy in a box and put it in the far corner of the cabinet for four weeks, as required by the original recipe ?!
My cupcake, which took almost a whole pack of butter, four eggs, a package of festive colorful candied fruits and a handful of peeled almonds, dissolved the intoxicating flavor in the 15th minute of baking. An hour later, when he finally gained the necessary density and was removed from the oven, we, a friendly family, gathered around and were forced to keep the advice. Stoically surrendering to the purity of the experiment, I still hid the “Dundee” in the box from the apricot cake eaten the day before and made sure to forget about its existence until December 24th.
When I traditionally told this sentimental story to my aunt-cook, she was not at all surprised. It turned out that she had been baking Dundee for several years now and cutting it on the eve of the New Year into dozens of gift boxes for colleagues and friends. “I pack each piece in a transparent film, tie it with a shiny ribbon - and the perfect New Year surprise is ready,” she said knowingly.
I thanked her for the practical advice - I have just enough friends in Montreal, which is enough for them as gifts and for me and my husband for Christmas tea. So here it is, a useful and, most importantly, delicious anti-crisis idea of a New Year's gift!
Dundee Fruitcake Recipe
200 g butter
200 g sugar
200 g candied fruit (citrus and fruit to choose)
100 g dark raisins
100 g light raisins
250 g flour
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
50 g grated almonds
200 g of peeled almonds for decoration
Beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, carefully beating with a mixer at maximum speed. Sift flour with baking powder, add it to the egg-butter mixture, pour grated almonds. In a separate bowl, roll candied fruit and raisins in flour, then mix with dough. Put the dough into a round shape with a diameter of not more than 26 cm, smooth the surface and put on it in a circle peeled almonds. Bake in the oven at 170 degrees for 60-75 minutes (readiness to check, piercing with a wooden stick). Allow the cake to cool completely, remove it from the mold, wrap it in plastic and put it in a dry and dark place. And do not remember three or four weeks.