Fruit Cake Recipe
This rich, moist cake is packed with dried fruit.
Preparation time: about 40 minutes (excludes soaking, baking and cooling times)
Yields about 45 pieces (each about 2cm by 3.7cm by 6.5cm)
We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.
360g (2 1/4 cups) raisins
340g (2 cups) sultanas
200g (1 cup, lightly packed) glace cherries, chopped into quarters
150g (3/4 cup, lightly packed) deseeded dried dates, chopped into small pieces
150g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) deseeded prunes, chopped into small pieces
140g (1 small) apple, peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup loosely packed grated apple)
56g (2 tablespoons) apricot conserve
125ml (1/2 cup) brandy or rum
225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
2 teaspoons (4g) mixed spice (a combination of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg)
250g butter, softened (if using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon fine table salt)
226g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
20ml (1 tablespoon) brandy or rum, for brushing on cooked cake
Place raisins, sultanas, cherries, dates, prunes, apple, conserve and brandy in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for several hours, stirring occasionally.
Grease a 9cm deep, 20cm (base side measurement) square cake pan. Line base and sides of the pan with three layers of baking paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with three layers of brown paper and tie kitchen string around the paper to hold it in place.
Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (not fan-forced). Move the oven rack to the lower half of the oven so that the top of the cake will sit in the middle of the oven.
In a medium bowl, stir plain flour, self-raising flour and mixed spice together until well combined. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer or electric hand-held beaters, beat the butter and brown sugar together in a large, deep bowl. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the side and base of the bowl with a spatula. Continue beating until the butter and sugar mixture is pale and creamy. © exclusivelyfood.com.au
Add the first egg to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed for about one minute. Repeat with the second egg. Stop the machine and scrape down the base and side of the bowl. Add the remaining eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed for about one minute after each addition.
Add the fruit mixture to the butter mixture and stir until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the fruit and butter mixture and stir until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, pushing the batter into the corners of the pan with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of the batter.
Bake for about 2 hours 50 minutes to 3 hours 10 minutes, until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. The centre of the cake should feel firm when gently pressed. To prevent over-browning, we cover the cake with greaseproof paper after 2 hours of baking.
Leave the cake in the pan, and brush the extra tablespoon of brandy/rum over the top of the hot cake.
Cover the cake with greaseproof paper and a clean tea towel and allow to cool completely in the pan. This will take several hours.
The cake can be served as soon as it has cooled; however, we find that its flavour and texture improve if it is stored for a few weeks before serving. To store, remove the cake from the pan (leaving the baking paper on the cake), tightly wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminium foil and place in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If the weather is very hot, we store the cake in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before serving. © www.exclusivelyfood.com.au