PAMELA’S TIPS

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Classic Cake -

• I’ve gone a lit­tle crazy over glacé or­ange slices lately. You could use them in place of the glacé apri­cots and pineap­ple, keep­ing the or­ange-flavour theme go­ing in this recipe. Or, use the glacé or­ange, finely chopped, in place of the mixed peel.

• Don’t be put off about mak­ing the syrup for this recipe. Let the sugar melt slowly and tilt the pan so the sugar browns evenly and stir it gently. Re­mem­ber, sugar reaches a very high tem­per­a­ture, you’re caramelis­ing it here, so be care­ful. Re­move the pan from the heat, add the juice, stand back as the mix­ture will spit and spat­ter as the cold juice hits the hot caramel. Lumps of tof­fee will form, which need to be melted. Some­times if you just leave the syrup alone, the resid­ual heat will melt the tof­fee, but most peo­ple are in a hurry, so re­turn the pan to a low heat and stir it un­til the tof­fee melts. Don’t boil the syrup, you don’t want to evap­o­rate any of the lovely syrup.

• To slow down the cool­ing of the cake, which takes at least overnight, I throw a cou­ple of folded tow­els over the cake pan. When the cake is cold, I re­move the foil and wrap the cake tightly in plas­tic wrap, then keep the cake in a plas­tic con­tainer in the fridge. I never bother with freez­ing rich fruit cakes. The cake will keep and cut per­fectly at room tem­per­a­ture, but if in­sects are about, the fridge is the best place. The cake will cut like but­ter and re­turn to room tem­per­a­ture quickly.

• I’ve aban­doned us­ing brown pa­per for lin­ing cake pans; three lay­ers of bak­ing pa­per is just fine. If you strug­gle with lin­ing the pan, coat the in­side of the pan with a lit­tle spray oil, it will hold the outer layer of pa­per in place.

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