Thursday, March 19, 2015

Irish Whiskey Cake

Irish Whiskey Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 159.

This is an old-fashioned fruit cake with the distinct taste of caraway seeds and the kick of Irish whiskey. If you do not like the taste of caraway, you can probably eliminate it or reduce it. I have to confess I usually do not like caraway seeds but I did not mind them in this recipe.

The recipe calls for diced candied orange peel but I used a diced candied mixture that I had purchased during the holidays for fruit cakes. It is very pretty when sliced. Allow it to chill before slicing and serving (see the note at the end of the recipe).

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. salt
Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
1 TBS. plus 1 tsp. lemon juice
5 oz. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup Irish whiskey (or Scotch, bourbon, whiskey or blend)
1/2 cup diced candied orange peel
1/2 cup light raisins
1 TBS. carraway seeds
3/4 cup pecans, cut into medium-sized pieces
1 TBS. additional butter (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350 (use bottom rack). Butter a loaf pan (8.5"x 4.5" x 2.75" or one with 6-cup capacity). Dust with fine, dry bread crumbs.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, mace and salt. Set aside. Mix the lemon rind and juice and set aside.

Cream the butter and add the vanilla and sugar and mix.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well.
Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with...
the whiskey, ending with flour mixture.
Stir in the lemon rind and juice.
Add the candied orange peel (or candied mixture, if you are using that instead).
Add the raisins.
Add the nuts and the caraway seeds.
Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Form a shallow trench lengthwise down the middle.
Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes - if it begins to brown too much on top, cover loosely with tin foil toward the end of the baking time. After you remove it from the oven, spread the butter over the top of the cake. Let it sin in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing it to cool on a rack. It is best to wrap it and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before slicing. You can also freeze it.


Angie Schneider said...

This is just like Christmas cake...only better, because of the add of Irish whiskey. I would love a slice with my afternoon tea!

Emily said...

Hi Phillip,
Can I use walnuts instead of pecan in this whisky cake? Thanks!

Phillip Oliver said...

Hi Emily, yes you can. It should not make much difference.

Emily said...

Hi Phillip,
In the end I used pecans and almost forgot about the egg whites! Just to let you know that a small baking group I belong to... we are baking from Maida Heatter's Cake from November 2015 till next October! This Irish Whiskey cake is one of the four recipes nominated for November! And happy to add that the group managed to bake all four recipes! Here is a link: