Friday, 17 August 2012

Rich Fruit Cake

As long as you have the patience to bake this for as long as it needs then it's actually a very straightforward recipe. Combine this with the ability to buy pre-rolled marzipan and royal icing and it becomes simple to make a great looking cake.

Ingredients:

  • 350g butter, at room temperature
  • 350g soft brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 400g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cloves, ground (or 1/3 tsp if pre-ground)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 150g almond flakes
  • 100g mixed peel, chopped
  • 100g glace cherries, chopped
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 600g currants
  • 6 tbsp brandy

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Cut a sheet or two of greaseproof paper so that it lines the side and bottom of your cake tin.
  3. Cut a sheet of greaseproof paper so that it fits on the top of your cake tin as a lid with a few cm of spare paper running down each side.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a very large bowl with a spoon. You want a smooth butter and sugar mixture.
  5. Mix the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture 2 at a time. If you add them all at once then it can be hard to mix and keep the consistency.
  6. Add the flour, cinnamon and cloves on top of the mixture and stir slowly.
  7. Add all the rest of the ingredients apart from the brandy and mix until uniform.
  8. Pour into the lined cake tin.
  9. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours.
  10. Remove from the oven and carefully place the paper lid over the top. Tie a length of string around it to keep the lid on. This helps to keep the cake moist while it continues to bake. Be careful not to burn yourself on the cake tin though, as it'll be hot.
  11. Return to the oven for a further 2 hours.
  12. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and remove it. If it comes out clean then it's cooked all the way through. If it doesn't then leave it for a further 15 minutes and re-test with the skewer. Depending on your oven you might need to do this cycle of testing and then waiting 15 minutes a few more times.
  13. Once cooked all the way through, remove from the oven and leave for a few hours to fully cool.
  14. When it's room temperature, carefully prick the top of the cake with a skewer and drizzle the brandy over it.
  15. Place the cake in an airtight container or cover with marzipan and icing before eating.
Makes a cake suitable for a 23cm square tin.

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