Madeiran Honey Cake Recipe
- Dredge the fruits and nuts in 1/2 cup of the sifted flour and set aside.
- Sift the remaining flour with the baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and anise onto a piece of wax paper and set aside also.
- Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffily-light, beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Mix in the softened yeast, add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the molasses, beginning and ending with the dry.
- Fold in the fruits and nuts with the dredging flour.
- Transfer the batter to a large well-greased bowl, cover with a clean dry cloth, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 2 hours (Note: The batter will rise only slightly, but it will become spongy and light.)
- Stir the batter down, divide between two well greased and floured pans.
- Using the blanched almond halves, make a daisy type flower on the top of each cake.
- Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for 1 an 1/2 hours.
- Toward the end of the second rising, preheat the oven to 190°C or 375°F.
- When the batter looks properly risen, bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until it begins to pull away from the edges of the pans and feel springy to the touch.
- Cool the cakes for 10 minutes, loosen the sides with a knife and turn the cakes out.
- Allow to cool before cutting.
(Note: These cakes keep well in the freezer for about six months if wrapped snugly in foil and/or plastic wrap.)
(Note: You can also drizzle the cakes with Madeira wine both before freezing and after defrosting.)
(Note: In Madeira, the popular way to frost these cakes is to sift confectionery sugar diagonally across the top.)