About this recipe:The aroma of this fruit cake, when it comes out of the oven, should be bottled and sold for millions. Bake it if you are selling your house and want the viewer to whip out their cheque book!
Soak all the dried fruit in stout for 24 hours or more.
Preheat the oven to 160 C / Gas 2 1/2. Line a 10 inch/ 25 cm cake tin, square or round, on bottom and sides.
Cream the softened butter and sugar in mixer until white and fluffy. Add beaten eggs very gradually, keeping mixer on medium speed.
Fold in sieved flour and all other dry ingredients. Strain fruit, and add to flour and then add leftover stout to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency. You can put it all in, as I do, but sometimes it makes for a sunken fruit cake! Flop mixture into the tin, smoothing out the top.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until skewer inserted in top comes out clean. Check top of cake to make sure it is not too brown, cover if so. I always err on the side of caution and leave it in longer if I am unsure.
Rest in tin for an hour, turn out on rack. Very crumbly if cut straight away but hard to resist. Keeps a long time in
plastic sealed container.
Good for a substitute Christmas cake. Decorate top with peeled whole nuts, like pecans, walnuts and almonds, interspersed with green and red cherries. You can dip the nuts in some caramel to gloss and flavour them. Wrap in satin green ribbon (coz it's Irish) and devour!