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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Currant and lemon shortbread with vanilla glaze


These iced lemon-scented biscuits are a great pantry standby - they'll keep in a well-sealed tin for at least three days and make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

You'll need

250 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour 90 gm pure icing sugar Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 125 gm chilled butter, coarsely chopped 30 gm currants 20 gm candied lemon (optional), diced 2 egg yolks   Vanilla glaze 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 180 gm pure icing sugar, sieved 10 gm butter

Method

  • 01
  • Blend flour, sugar, vanilla seeds, rind and 1 tsp sea salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, currants and candied lemon and process until a sandy texture. Add yolks, process to just combine, tip out onto a work surface and bring dough together with the heel of your hand. Form into a disc, roll out to 1cm thick on a piece of floured baking paper and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Cut out rounds with a 6cm cutter, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake, turning tray occasionally, until golden around the edges (10-12 minutes). Set aside to cool on trays for 5 minutes.
  • 03
  • For vanilla glaze, stir sugar, vanilla seeds and 50ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar, then bring to the boil and cook until a light syrup forms (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, add icing sugar, butter and 1-2 tbsp hot water to achieve a smooth glazing consistency.
  • 04
  • Dip one side of warm shortbread biscuits into vanilla glaze, allowing excess to drip off, place on a tray lined with baking paper and stand until set (10-15 minutes). Store in an airtight container.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Jul 2014

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