With one day to go to the end of the year there is one cake baked for Hogmanay in Scotland - the Scotch Black Bun.
Scotch Black Bun is a rich fruit cake encased in shortcrust pastry. It was originally eaten on Twelfth Night but is now enjoyed at Hogmanay. It has been described as looking like a giant garibaldi as you can see from the picture below !
Many families have their own recipes handed down from their grandparents but the earliest recipe dates back to the 16th century when it may have been inspired by the rich fruit cakes of Italy at that time.
The recipe below is baked in a round cake tin but very often a loaf tin is used. It is baked for 3 hours which is a lengthy cooking time. This allows the raisins and currants to condense into a sticky, spicy, solid mix. The addition of black pepper gives an added bite. Like your christmas cake it is best made in advance and allowed to mature.
Scotch Black Bun
8oz plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4oz soft brown sugar
1 lb raisins
1 lb currants
2oz chopped candied peel
2oz blanched almonds, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
Grease and line a deep 8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper. Roll out pastry thinly and line prepared tin keeping enough pastry for the top.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, black pepper, ginger and cloves into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, fruit, peel and grated apple. Mix in beaten eggs and bind ingredients thoroughly together. Turn into tin and fit the pastry top. Make four holes right to the bottom with a skewer. Bake in a moderate oven 180 degrees C, for 3 hours.