Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fruit Cake

  • 1kg mixed dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup red glace cherries, halved
  • 1 cup pitted dried dates, finely chopped
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 200g butter, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2/3 cup brandy
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup blanched whole almonds
  • warmed apricot jam, to serve
  1. Place dried fruit, cherries, dates, sugar, butter, orange rind, orange juice, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 cup brandy in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl. Cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan. Line with 3 layers of baking paper, leaving a 5cm overhang
  3. Add egg to dried fruit mixture. Stir until just combined. Sift flour over mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Tap pan on bench top to settle mixture. Arrange almonds around edge of mixture. Bake for 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes, covering with foil after 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Drizzle over remaining brandy. Wrap pan in foil, then in a tea towel. Cool completely. Brush cake top with jam. Serve.

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