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Honey & Whisky Cake

For most people in Scotland it will be a case of  ' auld claes an parritch ', as rountine activity follows the Yuletide break. But, if we had lived in older times however, we would be looking forward to our only holiday in the year - Handsel Monday - the first Monday following the New Year. It received it's name from the custom, from time immemorial, for servants and others to ask or receive handsel ( gift ) on that day. Indeed the traditional toast at ' the clappin o the Twal ' was ' A Guid New Year to ane an aw, an a Merry Handsel Monday.' This weeks recipe is inspired by the news that Scotland's 96 distilleries expect to have sold in excess of 7,500 cases of Scotch over the Yuletide period. Good news indeed for the Scottish economy and for those dependent on the Whisky trade. Bake a Honey and Whisky Cake as your own delicious handsel as we enter 2002.
Honey and Whisky Cake
Cake : 6 oz self-raising flour; 6 oz butter; 6 oz soft brown sugar; 3 eggs beaten; 4 tablespoons whisky; grated rind of a small orange
Butter Icing : 6 oz icing sugar; 2 oz butter; 2 tablespoons clear honey; juice from the small orange
Toasted flaked almonds to decorate
Grease two 7 inch sandwich tins. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the orange rind. Beat in the eggs one at a time and whisk until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Sift in about half the flour and add the whisky. Fold into the mixture . Sift in the remaining flour and fold in. Divide the mixture equally between the two tins and smooth the tops. Set oven to 375 deg F/ Mark 5 and bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool. To make the icing, put the butter into a mixing bowl. Add the honey and one tablespoon of the orange juice. Sift in the icing sugar slowly and work the mixture gradually until the ingredients are combined. Sandwich the cakes together with half of the buttercream. Smooth the remainder over the top of the cake and decorate with toasted almonds.

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