The weather is going from bad to worse and I really wonder if Spring will ever be here! It has been a rainy day today as well, with dark gloomy clouds hanging over us. I really wish the sun would come out for a while, oh well, that will happen when it has to I guess!
On a much brighter note, I decided to make a rich fruit cake to cheer me up (that’s just an excuse!) I have been long putting this one off for some reason or the other, mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. One bite into this and I was kicking myself for not having made this sooner!!
You will need:
For the Cake:
9 oz softened unsalted butter
1 cup Soft Brown sugar
2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp lemon zest
2 Cups All purpose flour
½ Cup Self-raising flour
1 Cup Sultanas (Golden raisins)
½ Cup Raisins
½ cup Red Glace cherries*
½ Cup Dried Apricots, chopped
¾ Cup Dried Berry blend
1 ¼ Cups Currants
1 Cup Brandy
¼ Cup soft brown sugar
1 tbsp Cocoa powder
½ tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Clove
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
* The store I go to was out of red glace cherries, hence I have used green glace cherries instead.
Preheat the oven to 300F. Grease a 10-inch round pan and two 6-inch round pans with butter and line all three with parchment paper.
To make the fruit mix, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Allow to soak overnight for the best flavour.
Beat the butter, soft brown sugar, orange and lemon zests using electric beaters or a stand-up mixer until combined and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in half of the soaked fruit mix alternately with the flour and self-raising flour. Mix well to combine.
Spread batter evenly into the prepared cake pans and tap on kitchen top to remove any air bubbles. Dip your fingers in water and level the surface.
Bake for 1-1 ½ hours or until a skewer/toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in pans completely. Unmould onto a cooling rack, remove parchment and then store cakes in air-tight containers. The longer these cakes sit, the better they taste and the flavours intensify.
This makes for a delicious snack at tea-time. This Fruit Cake reminded me of the 'Plum Cake" we get back in India bakeries. Another trip down memory lane!