When looking through my cookery books, there are some things inside them that scream out at you to make them – just through their name. Culprits of this form of persuasion include desserts such as “Molten Chocolate Cake with Rich Chocolate Sauce” or “Self-Saucing Lemon Pudding” and anything with “Best Ever….” at the beginning. Orlando Murrin’s “No-Fail Cake” is also one of these.
Thankfully, this cake definitely lived up to its name, even when I accidentally added double the pineapple and pineapple juice! In essence, this cake is a light fruit cake. The difference is the pineapple, which makes it lovely and moist and juicy. One reason that it is a no-fail cake, is that the method is so simple: just put all the ingredients minus flour and eggs in a saucepan, wait until the butter has melted and then just fold in the remaining ingredients!
This was a cake I had wanted to make as part of my Advent Series, but for a while I couldn’t find the book it is in – The Clever Cookbook by Orlando Murrin (I think sold with the Express recently, and of course another cookbook I hadn’t cooked from before). Murrin got the recipe from one of his readers in Wales who found it at Bangor Cathedral. The name of the cake in Welsh is “Cacen byth yn methu” aka, of course, never-fail cake. In the introduction above the cake, Orlando Murrin says “I received several dozen letters from readers saying it was the best cake they had ever made, letters from all over the country – not just Wales!”. Whilst I may not go that far, it definitely was good! The only change I might make would be too reduce the amount of mixed fruit just a little bit so the highlight was more on the pineapple and cherries. Although it was a mistake to begin with, I would still keep the double pineapple and juice (just add an extra tbsp of flour).
Cacen byth yn methu – no fail cake, from The Clever Cookbook by Orlando Murrin
Cuts into 8-10 (we got more!)
100g/4oz glace cherries
220gtin of pineapple in juice (or double :D)
350g/12oz mixed fruit
175g/6oz soft brown sugar
225g/8oz self-raising flour
1. Chop the cherries and pineapple (a very fiddly job), but keep the juice. Put in a pan with the pineapple juice, butter, mixed fruit and sugar.
2. Heat to melt the butter but do not boil.
3. Leave to cool, then beat in the flour and eggs.
4. Preheat the oven to 170’C/fan oven 150’C/Gas 3. Line a 20cm/8inch round tin with baking paper, punt in mixture and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, till firm and skewer comes out clean. (I put mine in for just over an hour and it was fine, possibly could have done with even less!)