Fruitcake is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts, and spices, and soaked in spirits. In the United Kingdom, certain rich versions may be iced and decorated.
100g glacé cherries
1.35kg dried fruit cake mix
250g soft brown sugar
5 extra large eggs
240g cake flour
2ml bicarbonate of soda
Halve the cherries and add to the dried fruit mix.
Pour over the rum/brandy/sherry and mix.
Cover and set aside for a few hours (I leave overnight or for a day)
Prepare the baking pan thus:
Grease a deep 25cm cake pan.
Line the base and sides with a double layer of waxed paper.
Grease the paper as well.
Tie a double layer of brown paper on the outside of the pan.
Also, fold a ‘lid’ from the double layer of brown paper.
NOTE – Pan preparation is important to prevent the cake from burning. Don’t be tempted to skip this step.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius
The Cake Mixture
Cream the sugar and shortening.
Separate the eggs.
Beat the egg yolks one by one into the sugar mixture AND after each addition stir in a tablespoon of the flour.
Beat the mixture well each time.
Mix the remaining flour with the with fruit mixture and stir into the sugar mixture.
Heat the honey, mix in the bicarbonate of soda and stir it into the fruit mixture.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites till they form stiff peaks and FOLD into the fruit.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Place the ‘lid’ on top.
Bake for 90 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 140’C and bake for another hour.
If a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, the cake is done.
Sprinkle the hot cake with a rum/brandy/sherry and leave to cool in the pan.
Carefully turn it out and store in an airtight container till needed.
Remove the paper just before cutting.
My notes –
*I doubled this recipe and used 1litre volume loaf pans and baked four cakes simultaneously in a fan-forced oven.
*I usually pour over some more ‘booze’ about a week later. Then wrap in cling film and foil and store.
I’ve already kept a fruitcake for longer than a year.
Prepared, tried and tested Dee Harris
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