What is Christmas without a rich, moist and traditionally iced fruit cake! Add this decadent cake to your Christmas menu for a show-stopping finale.
1 kg mixed dried fruit (a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes and figs)
zest and juice of 1 orange
zest and juice of 1 lemon
250 g butter (slightly softened)
200 g soft brown sugar
175 g plain flour
100 g ground almond
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
100 g flaked almonds
4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 ml brandy or other alcohol (plus extra for feeding the cake)
- Place mixed dried fruit, zest and juice of orange and lemon, brandy (or other alcohol), butter and brown sugar in a large pan that is set over medium heat.
- Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
- Add plain fl our, ground almonds, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, cloves, flaked almonds, eggs and vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure that there are no pockets of fl our.
- Set the mixture aside and prepare your cake tin for baking the cake. For this, line the sides and bottom of a deep, round cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper—the paper should come up a good 10 cm higher than the sides of the tin.
- Tip the mixture into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs at 145°C.
- When the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool. When it is completely cold, remove the cake from the tin.
- Peel off the baking parchment, then wrap the cake well in cling film. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- You can use 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight to feed the cake and keep it moist.