Utrecht sweet-heart cake

Utrechts lieverdje

Tags: Cakes & Cookies

500 grams flour
1 tsp baking powder
400 grams brown sugar
1 tsp ground clove
1 tsp cardamom or nutmeg
˝ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cacao
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
500 ml milk
120 grams candied peel variety
30 grams candied cherries
50 grams raisins
100 grams icing sugar
1 tsp kirsch

Combine flour and baking powder in a tall bowl. Mix in the salt, brown sugar and milk, clove, cardamom, ginger, and cacao and knead it into a cohesive dough. Wash the raisins and pat them dry. Put two tablespoons of candied peel, one tablespoon of raisins and one tablespoon of candied cherries to the side and mix in all the remainder. Put the dough into a greased, (heart-shaped) form and bake for about 90 minutes into a pre-heated oven at 175C/340F. Take the cake out, let it settle for about five minutes, remove the form and allow the ‘lieverdje’ to cool on a cake rack.Coat the top of the cake with a glaze made the following way: mix a few drops of kirsch (or water) into the icing sugar. Garnish the glaze with the left-over candied peel, raisings and cherries.

A ‘lieverdje’ is the Dutch diminutive of ‘lieverd’, indeed: sweetheart in all its meanings. As such it is akin to the Latin word ‘libido’. However, the diminutive also has gotten a mildly derisive meaning: a ‘gamin,’ a playfully mischievous street urchin. In Amsterdam, there even is a statue to the ‘Lieverdje.’