According to legend, 16th-century Mary, Queen of Scots, did not like to eat glace cherries and a lighter version of fruit cake, the Dundee cake, was developed especially for her. The real story is that the cake was invented by
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Add a teaspoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from separating. Stir in the sherry, candied peel and grated zest.
Carefully fold the remaining flour, the almond meal, baking powder and salt into the batter so that the volume is retained. Stir in the raisins, then spoon the batter into the tin and smooth the top.
Arrange the whole blanched almonds in concentric circles on top of the cake. Don’t push the almonds into the batter – lightly place them on top, otherwise they will sink into the batter during baking.
Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by mixing the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heating over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover the hot cake with the sugar syrup. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin. It tastes best after a few days, stored in an airtight container.
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