Rich fruit/Christmas cake

This recipe produces a really rich dark and moist cake which can be eaten immediately or left to ‘mature’ for several weeks. The fruit need to be soaked over night so allow a couple of days for prep and cooking time!

Cut the prunes and apricots into small pieces and place them with the other fruit in a saucepan with the sherry and brandy. Add the cloves and the zest and the juice from the orange and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Leave the fruit to cool and leave to soften for a minim of 24 hours.

Once the fruit has absorbed all the liquid, heat the oven to 150C/gas 2 and line the base and sides of a deep 10 inch round tin with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then beat in the eggs, one at a time before mixing in the treacle and chopped nuts..

Sift the flour and combine with the spices and ground almonds. Mix into the butter mixture, alternating with the soaked fruit.

Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the oven for about 3-4 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool and then store in an air tight tin.
300g raisins
300g sultanas
300g currants
100g morello flavoured glace cherries
125g dried apricots
125g dried prunes
150g ground almonds
150g chopped mixed nuts, chopped
400ml port
100ml brandy
300g butter, at room temperature
200g dark brown muscovado sugar
1 orange
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp treacle
400g plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp whole cloves

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