Tuesday 19 April 2016

Melton Hunt Cake

Melton Hunt Cake
The town of Melton Mowbray in Leceistershire is famous for a several food items. It's one of the designated areas where Stilton cheese can be produced. Of course it is most well-known for the Melton Mowbray Pork Pies which can only be called after the town if it is actually made in the town. The pork pie was invented in 1848 by John Dickinson who had a shop in the town. It proved popular with the local Melton Hunt but of course after you've had something savoury you want something sweet and six years later Dickinson made fruit cake especially for the hunt. You can still visit the shop, known now as Dickinson and Morris, and purchase pork pies and a Melton Hunt Cake.

The recipe for the cake is a secret however as Dickinson and Morris are legally obliged to list the ingredients of the cake it isn't hard to work out. Essentially it is a classic British fruit cake with a topping reminiscent of a Dundee Cake. To keep the cake moist a splash of dark rum is added. I expect a few swigs of rum from a hip flask occurred during a hunt. To make things clear hunting I have no time for, cake however I love. My Nan used to tell me she had an uncle in Norfolk who rode with Queen Mary's hunt at Sandringham and then declared she didn't like hunting. My Nan though did love cake like I do.

Equipment: 8in (20cm) round tin lined, small bowl, large bowl, electric whisk/beaters, metal spoon


8oz (225g) Plain flour
8oz (225g) Unsalted butter, soften or baking spread
8oz (225g) Dark muscovado sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 Eggs
10½ oz (300g) Mixed dried fruit
3½ oz (100g) Glacé cherries, halved, washed and dried
3½ oz (100g) Flaked almonds
3 tbsp (45ml) Dark rum


5 Glacé cherries, halved
8 Blanched whole almonds


1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/ Gas mark 2.
2. Weigh out the flour in a small bowl and put to one side.
3. Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until the mixture is fluffy.
4. Beat in the eggs one by one adding a spoonful of the flour each time.
5. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon and then add the dried fruit and flaked almonds. Finally add the rum to the mixture and fold in.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the top.
7. Decorate the top with the glacé cherries and blanched almonds with the glacé cherries on the outside.
8. Cook for 45 minutes and then lower the temperature to 140°C/Gas mark 1.
9. Bake for a further 1 hour 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Keep checking the cake through the cooking to make sure the top doesn't cook too quickly. If necessary cover the top with some baking or greaseproof paper.
10. Once cooked remove from the oven but leave to cool in the tin.

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of a Melton Hunt cake so thanks for enlightening me. We love a good fruit cake and this one sounds just right.


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