Eat next day rich fruit cake

    17 hours 30 min

    Most rich fruit cakes need a few weeks to mature before they are at their best, so usually a degree of planning and organisation is needed. I'm not always this efficient, and sometimes a rich fruit cake is needed right away. This recipe makes a cake that is ready to eat when it has cooled, but equally, can be brandy soaked and matured in the traditional manner. It is also very, very easy to make, little measuring and absolutely no curdling batter.

    MotherhenB

    Kent, England, UK
    2 people made this

    Ingredients
    Serves: 16 

    • 200g glacé cherries, halved
    • 1.5kg mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants) and mixed peel
    • 2cm piece crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
    • 200ml brandy
    • 250g butter
    • 250g dark muscavado sugar
    • 1 tablespoon black treacle
    • 5 eggs, beaten
    • 250g self raising flour
    • 3 teaspoons mixed spice

    Method
    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:5hr  ›  Extra time:12hr soaking  ›  Ready in:17hr30min 

    1. Line a 23cm loose bottomed cake tin with silicone paper or baking parchment and make an insulating outer 'jacket' with 4 to 5 sheets of newspaper, folded around the tin. Secure with string. This will help to stop the fruit from burning during the long cooking time.
    2. Put the cherries, dried fruit and stem ginger in a large bowl and mix in the brandy. Stir well, cover and leave the fruit to soak until the next day.
    3. Choose a very large pan. Melt the butter over a low heat. Remove from the heat.
    4. Add the muscavado sugar and black treacle and mix well.
    5. Beat the eggs and mix into the butter and sugar. Be careful not to have the butter and sugar too hot or the eggs will scramble.
    6. Mix in the flour and spices and stir until smooth. Add the soaked dried fruit, coating all the fruit thoroughly.
    7. Preheat the oven to 150 C / 130 C fan / Gas 2.
    8. Carefully, so as not to disturb the silicone paper, transfer the cake mixture into the tin. Smooth the top, don't forget to scrape the pan well. The plain batter is useful to cover the top of the cake and protect the fruit as it cooks. Poke as much of the fruit under the surface as possible.
    9. Put the cake tin on a baking tray and transfer to the preheated oven. Make a note of the time, because it takes a long time to cook. Check the cake regularly, using a clean skewer. It can take as long as 5 hours. If it looks as if it is beginning to burn turn the oven done 10 C and/or cover the cake very loosely with aluminium foil.
    10. When the cake is cooked the skewer will come out of the cake cleanly, don't be afraid to continue to cook the cake longer if you are in doubt.
    11. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin, then remove the cake from the tin by standing it on a can of baked beans to push the loose bottom free of the cake, without squashing the heavy cake.
    12. Cool the cake completely. You can now decorate it and eat it, or brush it with brandy and wrap in grease proof paper to mature in the traditional manner.

    Tips

    Choose your cake tin carefully, the cake does not rise, so the mixture needs to almost fill the tin to get a good shaped cake.
    For economy, (and because I don't like mixed peel!) I use only 'value' sultanas from the supermarket, not a mixture of fruit.
    To easily measure out the treacle without having messy trails, first heat the tablespoon under very hot water before scooping up the spoonful from the tin.

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