Friday, 16 December 2016

Rich Fruit Cake

Perfect for all special occasions. On its own or covered with marzipan and icing.

You can substitute some of the liquid for bandy, whisky or rum for that extra special-ness (see step)

Planning note: Fruit will be soaked overnight

You will need (a lot of things):
Ingredients Part 1 aka 'Bowl 1' 
  • 220ml of hot, strong tea or orange juice (see notes ❅)
  • 750g or dried, mixed fruit (see notes ❅❅)
Ingredients Part 2 aka 'Bowl 2' 
  • 200g Unsalted butter 
  • 110g Glace cherries (halved)
  • 225g Dark brown sugar
  • 4 Medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g Plain, white flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/5tsp Ground cloves
  • 1tsp Mixed spice
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • Small amount of margarine / butter for greasing tin
Equipment:
  • 1 8" cake tin at least 3" deep
  • A saucepan
  • 2 Mixing bowl, plus 1 bowl for eggs
  • Measuring spoons
  • Greaseproof paper
  • String - suitable for the oven
  • Mixing spoons
  • Tea towel or cling film
  • A sieve to drain fruit
Notes:
★ If you have two different size bowls, the largest size will be best suited as Bowl 2
 Liquids: For more indulgence, replace half this liquid with Brandy, Rum or Whisky. If using alcohol, you will need to make this cake weeks in advance to allow maturing and feeding (see step later on)
❅❅ Fruit: I purchased ready mixed fruit, if you don't want to use ready mixed, you can use any or all of the following up to 750kg:
  • Sultanas
  • Raisins
  • Craisins
  • Currants

Day #1 - Bowl #1:
  1. Weigh and wash your fruit
  2. Drain through a sieve
  3. Place in a large bowl
  4. Allow your liquid to come to room temperature
  5. Pour over the fruit and cover with a tea towel or cling film
  6. Allow to soak overnight or a minimum of six hours
  7. Cut cherries in half and mix into Bowl 1

Day #2:
  • Cut cherries in half and mix into Bowl 1

Melt Butter and Sugar:


** Preheat the oven to 140℃ / Gas mark 1 ***
  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature
  • Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan. stir continually until it has mixed well. Allow to cool.
  • Whilst cooling, grease and line your tin. 
  • Pour mix into Bowl 2
  • Lightly beat your eggs with the vanilla - Mix in to Bowl 2
  • Sift and mix together, into Bowl 2, the remaining dry ingredients from 'Bowl 2' list

Combine both bowls:
  • Add a spoonful of fruit at a time and fold in
Measure greaseproof papers for the outside of the tin:
  • Measure your tin, round and height, and cut a length of greaseproof paper to fit around (plus a little more) and four times the height.
  • Fold this in half and ensure that it comes over the rim of your tin by about 2 inches.
  • Place to one side
Spoon mixture into tin:
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin and flatten the top
Secure paper to tin:
  • Take your length of greaseproof paper and secure it around the tin with the string
  • This is to ensure that, if it rises over the sides of your tin, it won't spill
Bake and allow to cool:
  • Bake in centre of the oven for 4 - 4.5hrs or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean.
  • Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack
Storage:
  • Store, wrapped in a double layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil.
  • You can leave the foil if you have a tin to keep it in.
  • Store at room temperature or in the freezer.
  • Can be stored for up to six - eight weeks.
Feeding and maturing (optional):
  • If using alcohol, feed the cake with 1-2tbsp of Brandy every two weeks until it's decorated.
  • Do not feed the cake for the last week. This will give the surface a chance to dry before decorating.
  • Maturing is optional if not using alcohol.
Decorate (optional)
Decorate your cake for whatever celebration you desire or eat as is.

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