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Favourite Birthday Cake

Yesterday ( 10 October 2002 ) was the bicentenary of the birth of a great 19th century Scot, Hugh Miller of Cromarty in the Black Isle. Miller rose to international acclaim as a geologist ( self-taught ), editor of 'The Witness', a twice-weekly newspaper, and writer. His birth place, the thatched cottage built c1698 by his grand-father in Church Street, Cromarty, is now under the care of The National Trust for Scotland and is open to the public from May to September every year. The furnished cottage contains an exhibition and video on Hugh Miller's life and to the rear is a Scottish wild garden of colourful native plants, designed to reflect Miller's own love of nature. Hugh Miller's cottage was first opened to the public in 1890. It was handed over to the care of The National trust for Scotland by Cromarty Town Council in 1938.
It became one of the Trust's earliest properties as The National Trust for Scotland was only formed in 1931. The Trust now has over 100 properties and this year saw the NTS membership reach a record level of 260,000. The Trust, which has charitable status, depends on its members subscriptions, entry fees to properties and donations to carry out its important role in the protection of Scotland's natural and cultural heritage. Over its 71 years, the result of the Trust's efforts has produced a magnificent diversity of properties including some of Scotland's greatest country houses and fortified castles, like Culzean, Brodick and Haddo, along with many of our nation's finest gardens, such as Inverewe, Arduaine and Threave. battle sites like Killiecrankie, Bannockburn and Culloden are maintained by the Trust and their story is brought alive through the best in modern interpretation.
Given the bicentenary of Hugh Miller's birth, a birthday cake recipe seemed appropriate for this week. Once again 'The Anniversary Cook-Book of the Dumfriesshire Federation SWRI ( 1922 - 1992 )' comes up trumps, as the Closeburn Institute SWRI supplied a recipe for Favourite Birthday cake to the Federation's 70th anniversary book.
Favourite Birthday Cake
Ingredients : 10 oz ( 275 g ) plain flour; 8 oz ( 225 g ) butter; 12 oz ( 350 g ) currants; 2 oz ( 50 g ) seedless raisins; 4 oz ( 100 g ) mixed peel; 8 oz ( 225 g ) castor sugar; 6 eggs; 8 oz ( 225 g ) sultanas; 2 oz ( 50 g ) glace cherries; 2 oz ( 50 g ) ground almonds; rind of an orange or lemon
Line an 8 inch cake tin with greased paper. Clean fruit. Beat butter and sugar to a cream. Add eggs and flour alternately. Add fruit and mix well, then add remainder of rind and almonds, mixing well. Bake in a very slow oven for four hours. Cover with marzipan and Royal icing, if desired.

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