Ingredients: • 2 cups dried currants
• 2 cups golden raisins
• 1 cup raisins
• 2 ounces candied cherries
• 2 ounces candied mixed peel
• 2/3 cup chopped almonds
• Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 1/2 teaspoon Mixed Spice (recipe follows)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 cup Irish whiskey
• 1 cup (2 sticks) Kerrygold Irish butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup soft brown sugar
• 5 large eggs
• 2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
This is the "Great Irish Cake," the traditional pièce
de résistance into which every Irish cook sinks her reputation. Spiced,
sweet desserts like this cake have been a part of Irish holiday celebrations
for centuries and were highly prized because they included spices and dried
fruits that were once difficult and expensive to obtain. The traditional topping
for the cake is a layer of whiskey-flavored marzipan followed by Royal Icing.
The day before baking (and several weeks before serving), combine all the fruit,
peel, zest and juice, spices, and nuts in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the whiskey.
Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.
Preheat the oven to 275° F. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with cooking
oil spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment or waxed paper.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer
until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each in thoroughly
and adding some of the sifted flour with each egg. Fold in the remaining flour,
and mix in the soaked fruit by halves. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer
inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Prick the top of the cake with a skewer in several places and pour the remaining
1/2 cup whiskey over the top. Run a knife around the sides of the pan and release
the sides. Invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely. Remove the lining
paper. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and store in a cool,
dark place for several weeks to allow the cake to mature. Unwrap the cake every
week and sprinkle a few tablespoons of Irish whiskey over the top.