1 (0.6-ounce) cake fresh yeast (sold in refrigerated section of grocery)
¾ cup caster or superfine sugar
1 cup milk
4 cups unbleached white flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces butter
1 ½ cups sultanas or golden raisins
¾ cup currants
½ cup chopped candied citrus peel (orange, lemon and/or lime)
zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix the yeast with a teaspoon each of the sugar and milk. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and spices. Rub in the butter and blend by hand with the remaining sugar. Beat the eggs and warm the milk, and add both to the yeast mixture. Combine with dry ingredients to form a dough. Knead the dough until fairly firm, but pliable. Add the sultanas, currants, candied citrus peel and grated lemon rind, mixing with hands. Cover and let stand in a warm place until the dough has risen to twice its size. Place in a 9-inch round cake tin lined with greased parchment paper and let stand an additional 30 minutes. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden brown.
Beverage Pairing: Chef Cathal suggests a sweet white dessert wine such as Oremus Tokaji Essencia 1995.