Last saturday we headed up to the Lancefield Farmer’s Market to have a look at the regions producers and we found some lovely free range chickens, beautiful vegetables, emu hand lotion, wonderful bread and gingerbread cake made by RedBeard Bakery in Trentham. While we were sitting around enjoying a coffee, my mum wondered off into the local OP Shop for a look – I headed in after her, to see what treasures she had found. I wondered down the back of the store to the books and I found possibly the best cookbook a home cook could discover. I found a 1972 Australian Women’s Weekly Cakes Cookbook, I cannot tell you how excited I was. It was so very loved the pages were ripped and coming out of the binding, and now it has found a home that will love it for many more years and at 50 cents it was a steal.
On opening the book, it is full of all the old fashioned favourites that I grew up with, that my mum and nanna have made. Fruit cakes, loaf cakes, sponges, butter cakes, shortcakes, buns and many more. My lovely husband grabbed the book and had a quick flick through and discovered a Sultana Cake recipe and his eyes almost fell out of his head – I knew that it was the first one to be made. Upon reading the recipe, it is a 24 hour make ahead recipe, but that makes for all the excitement upon eating.
Give it a go, it is a lovely moist cake that lasts for a week in a sealed container – I can guarantee that it will also become one of your family favourites also.
1 cup castor sugar
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 self-raising flour
1/4 cup brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cover the sultanas with warm water, soak for 2 hours. Drain and let dry at least 24 hours.
Grease a 22cm cake tin round or square is fine – line with paper
Preheat oven to 150c
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add flours and salt and fold in the sultanas and brandy.
Place mixture into cake pan. Bake in a moderately slow oven for around 1 3/4 hours.
NOTE: I placed a piece of brown paper on the top of the cake after 1 hour, so the top didn’t brown too much, also it took another 10 minutes at the end of the time to cook through the centre of the cake.