Yield: 12 Servings
|2½ cup||All-purpose flour|
|1 teaspoon||Baking powder|
|½ teaspoon||Baking soda|
|1 cup||Unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)|
|2 cups||Firmly packed light brown sugar|
|¼ teaspoon||Anise extract|
|Orange Marmalade (Optional)|
|Grated rind of one orange (Optional)|
|½ cup||Plumped currants *|
|2||slices per serving. NOTE: The cake can be frozen airtight|
* NOTE: To plump currants, cover with boiling water in a small cup and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain, Preheat the oven to Moderate (350F). Grease a 10-inch tube pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper. Grease and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Beat the butter and brown sugar in another large bowl for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and anise extract. Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting; add one-third of the flour mixture, beating just until blended. Pour in ½ cup of the buttermilk, beating until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the orange rind and the drained currants.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Rotate the pan briskly to even and settle the batter. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan and the tube. Invert the cake onto the rack; remove the waxed paper. Re-invert the cake. While still warm, brush with orange marmalade and garnish with orange zest, if you wish. cool to room temperature. Slice into 24 thin slices and serve for up to one month.