Ever since I began reading the English writer, Hazel Holt in her novels featuring Mrs. Mallory in which she'd always find time to bake Dundee cakes in the middle of solving village crimes, I've been baking Dundee cakes and loving them ever since.
The cake is often made with a variety of dried fruits such as currants, golden raisins and almonds as well as candied fruit peels.
The cake originated in 19th century Scotland and was mass produced by the marmalade company, Keiller's and they have since claimed to be the originators of the term "Dundee Cake".
The top of the cake is typically decorated with concentric circles of blanched almonds.
Like all fruit cakes, it is important to bake the cake at a low temperature, no higher than 325 degrees and preferably much lower - I prefer a slow bake at about 300 deg F.
It is so very important to line the pans with parchment paper to prevent the cakes from burning during the long baking time which usually ranges for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
Unlike regular cakes, simply baking for an hour or so as soon as a skewer comes out clean will not do. The cake needs to be rid of excess moisture in a slow long bake since these cakes are meant to keep over long periods of time in a process called ripening.
In fact, fruitcakes taste better with age!
So never serve the cake straight our of the oven. Keep for a few days so they taste their best which in itself takes all the stress out of it!