Monday, August 02, 2010
Ladysmith Cake is apparently a Kiwi invention, and it appears in so many vintage recipe books so I assume it is (or at least was) rather popular, but to be honest I had never had it until this year. Here's a great version that was taken from a recipe book published way back in 1940; (credit for the recipe goes to Mrs Hugh Carswell).
The cake itself has a yummy subtle spiciness to it, and is so light and soft. I also love how the walnuts become lovely and toasted at the top, combined with the jam in the centre, this is a beautiful combination of textures and flavours. It has now become one of my "go-to" cake recipes, an awesome addition to any afternoon tea.
1 tsp vanilla essence
185 g flour
1 Tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
4 Tbsp jam (any berry jam is ideal, raspberry, strawberry, or my favourite; blackcurrant)
1/4 cup (50g) chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius and grease or line a cake tin (the original recipe refers to an 18cm square cake tin as being ideal, but I use a 20cm round tin.)
Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the vanilla, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Fold in the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Scoop half the mixture into a separate bowl, sift the spices on top, fold them through, then spread evenly into the cake tin.
Spoon the jam onto the spicy cake mixture and carefully spread as evenly as possible, then top with remaining plain cake mixture.
Sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.