Rich Fruit CakeCourse: Cakes, Bakes and PastriesCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Medium
A moist rich fruit cake for use as a Christmas cake, Wedding cake or any other celebration cake
500 g currants
350 g sultanas
275 g glacé cherries halved, rinsed, and dried
175 g raisins
75 g mixed peel
150 ml brandy or sweet sherry plus extra for feeding
1 orange zest only
1 lemon zest only
250 g butter softened
250 g dark muscovado sugar
4 large free-range eggs room temperature
1 tbsp black treacle
75 g blanched almonds chopped
275 g plain flour
1½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
- Place the currants, sultanas and raisins in a bowl.
- Place the brandy or sherry in a small saucepan and heat it up just below boiling,(Do not let it boil) then pour over the fruit.
- Let it cool off then cover and allow to stand for 24/36 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/150°fan/gas mark 3.
- Grease and line a 23cm round or a 20 cm Square Deep Cake Tin with a double layer of baking parchment paper. Make sure the sides are lined at least 2″ above the height of the cake tin
- Line the outside of the cake tin with a double layer of newspaper, 2″ above the height of the tin and secure with string
- Place the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer and beat together until pale and fluffy
- Gradually add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Add the treacle and mix in well.
- Sift the flour and spices into the bowl and fold in.
- Drain off any excess liquid from the fruit and add to the cake mix along with the almonds, cherries, mixed peel and lemon and orange zest and mix well.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top, then make a slight indentation in the middle.
- Bake for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/130°C fan/gas mark 1 and bake for a further 1½-2 hours.
- Check at the further 1½hr mark by testing with thin a skewer to see if it comes out clean, otherwise, continue cooking for the further 30 minutes and check again
- If you feel the cake is colouring too much on top before the centre is cooked, place a layer of kitchen foil on the top
- Remove from the oven and while still warm, pierce the cake all over with a fine skewer and feed with a little brandy.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
- When the cake is completely cold, do not remove the baking parchment and wrap the cake tightly in kitchen foil, then in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Feed with more brandy at weekly intervals if you desire.
- The cake will keep quite happily for up to three months.
- Do not feed the cake 3 days before you are going to decorate it