Lardy cake

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
All-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
=== SPONGE ===
½ teaspoon Active dry yeast
3½ cup All-purpose flour
=== DOUGH ===
5 teaspoons Active dry yeast
3½ cup Sponge pulled into small pieces
4 cups Bread flour
1 tablespoon Salt
=== CAKE ===
2 tablespoons Ground ginger
2 tablespoons Ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ground coriander
½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon Ground mace
6 cups Mixed dried currants; cranberries and
Golden raisins
1 cup Unsalted butter; softened
1½ cup Turbinado sugar or packed light brown
Sugar
½ cup Apricot jam
¼ cup Cognac

TO MAKE THE SPONGE: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine ¼ cup warm water (110 degrees) and yeast. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add 1¼ cup warm water and flour. Mix on low speed, 2 minutes; the sponge should feel like a very wet dough. Place sponge in a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Store sponge, refrigerated, up to one week, or freeze in plastic up to three months. Bring sponge to room temperature before using. TO MAKE THE DOUGH: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1 cup warm (110 degrees) water and yeast. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add ½ cup warm water and the sponge. Mix on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture, and mix on low speed 1 minute. Change attachment to dough hook, and mix on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and just sticks to your fingers when squeezed, about 8 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface.

Turn out dough, and knead four or five turns into a ball. Place dough, smooth side up, in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled and is slightly blistered and satiny, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, and fold over four or five times.

Place folded side face down in bowl. Cover, and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk and satiny, about 50 minutes. Divide dough in half, and wrap in plastic until ready to use. TO MAKE THE CAKE: Using a rolling pin, roll out half the dough into a 16-inch square on a lightly floured work surface. Cover remaining half with plastic; set aside. In a small bowl, combine spices. In a large bowl, combine dried fruit. Spread 4 tablespoons butter over top of dough, leaving a ½-inch border around perimeter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons brown sugar over butter. Sprinkle one quarter of the combined spices over the sugar. Sprinkle one quarter of the dried fruit over the spices. Using the palms of your hands, gently press fruit into dough. Fold four corners of square into center, creating a smaller square, enclosing filling. Gently press down on dough with rolling pin. Spread 2 ounces butter over dough, leaving a ½-inch border around perimeter. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons sugar, another quarter of spices, and another quarter of the fruit. Using the palms of your hands, gently press fruit into dough; fold dough into thirds. Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper; roll out into an 11- by 16-inch rectangle. Carefully lifting parchment, transfer to baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill butter. Repeat steps one through four with remaining dough, butter, brown sugar, spices, and dried fruit. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine jam and cognac in a small saucepan. Set over low heat; cook until liquefied.

Strain mixture; discard solids. Brush surface of lardy cakes with jam mixture. Bake cakes until golden and puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Lardy cake will keep up to three days, very tightly wrapped in plastic. Reheat cake before serving. Makes two 11- by 16-inch cakes.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart Living - <www.marthastewart.com> Recipe from Martha Stewart's mother, Martha Kostyra Formatted for Mastercook by Lynn Thomas - dcqp82a@...

Recipe by: Martha Kostyra

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