1kg dried fruits (raisins, currants, sultanas, dates, apricots, etc)
125 ml brandy
250g butter, cut into cubes
100g dark brown sugar
60g raw sugar
1 can (440g) crushed pineapple
125ml orange juice or water
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules (optional)
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
4 eggs, lightly beaten
185g self-raising flour
185g plain flour
60g walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
60 ml brandy, extra - for brushing
100g blanched almonds
red glace cherries
- Combine ingredients (A) in a large bowl. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- In a saucepan, combine the macerated dried fruits and all the ingredients (B). Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
- Stir beaten eggs (C) into the cooled fruit mixture.
- Add in ingredients (D) - sifted flours and walnuts. Mix to combine.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan (see Note 2), smoothing the top with the back of a wet spoon.
- If desired, decorate the top of the batter with nuts and glace cherries.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 150°C for about 1 hour 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. The centre of the cake should feel firm when pressed gently.
- Remove cake from oven. Brush the hot cake with extra brandy. Cover tightly with foil while cake is still in the pan and then wrap the pan in a tea towel. Allow to cool completely.
- Once the cake is cool, remove from the pan. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap,and store in the refrigerator.
Note 1: For this recipe, you can make -
- one 23cm round cake, or
- two 15cm square cakes plus one 8" x 4" cake; or
- four 8" x 4 " cakes.
Note 2: To prepare the tin, line the base and sides of the pan with two layers of brown paper and two layers of baking paper, bringing the paper 5cm above the edge of the pan.
Note 3: Fruit cakes taste better with age, so let it mature for at least 2 - 3 weeks before eating. During this time, keep brushing the cake with brandy regularly.