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Tunis Cake

Although my mother was a great baker, she occasionally brought home one of McVitie's Tunis cakes near Christmas time. Do you remember these cakes?

Well I was feeling all nostalgic and thought I'd try and make one. Not as elaborate as the original, as that looks too tricky for my icing skills!
Mary Berry has a recipe, but I found another one, which was apparently sent by McVitie to a fan of the cake, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's in ounces.

3oz ground almonds
6oz butter
6oz caster sugar
3 medium eggs
rind of 1 lemon
8oz plain flour
11/2 tspn baking powder
2 tbspn milk

For the topping:
10oz plain chocolate
Marzipan fruits [banana, orange, pear, apple]

Preheat oven 160C/gas3                                        8" cake tin brushed with melted fat and lined with                                                                                        greaseproof paper at the bottom

Beat the butter and sugar together till white and fluffy then mix in lemon rind. Gradually add the beaten eggs.
Sieve the flour and baking powder together and fold into the bowl with the ground almonds using a metal spoon. Add milk to give a dropping consistency.
Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for about 11/2 hours till golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the topping:

Break the chocolate into a bowl with 1 tbspn water and melt over a pan of simmering water.
Wrap foil around the side of the cooled cake making sure it extends about half an inch above the top of it. When the chocolate has melted, pour it carefully onto the top of the cake, tapping the cake gently so the surface is smooth. Leave to set.
Decorate the top with marzipan fruits.

This is my simpler offering. It's a Madeira cake mixture, which is one of my favourite cakes. I couldn't find any marzipan fruits in the supermarket, but a friend kindly gave me these. Haven't eaten it yet, so will let you know how it tasted!


Suelle said…
It looks very elegant - I hope you can cut through that thick layer of chocolate without it shattering!
I certainly do remember Tunis cakes. My family was always too busy working to celebrate Christmas but the one treat we did always have was a Tunis cake. I loved the chocolate topping (although nobody ever ate the marzipan fruit in my family) and I seem to remember cutting it with a knife dipped in hot water in the hope that it wouldn't break into pieces (it usually did). I also remember that over the years the topping became thinner and thinner. I feel really envious of your cake - I have a feeling that it's going to taste really good.
julie said…
Looks and sounds delicious! Lovely to keep a tradition alive too xx

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