Festive Fruit Cake Recipe
Some people might know the term ‘fruitcake’ as a bit of a cheeky jibe, but in reality this delicious dessert is far from insulting. We’re going to go through one of the all-time easiest ways to get a delicious cake on the cards just before the festive season, and even help you nail the process of ‘feeding’ it with a little brandy every so often to get it on the more mature side.
You’re going to need:
- 200g of self-raising flour
- 150ml of milk
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- A dash of nutmeg
- 2-4 drops vanilla extract
- 100g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g of butter
- And around 300g of mixed dried fruit
The easiest method to lock in the moisture into this cake is to make sure you pre-soak your mixed fruits overnight, starting with boiling water and leaving them out in your kitchen with a towel over the bowl. Once you come back they should be juicy and moist, and you can even add a little dab of that cheeky brandy, or cognac if you’re feeling incredibly festive, in with them as they soak.
The next part is devilishly simple – take your flour and the sugar and add in the spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and the vanilla extract – make sure the mixture is finely mixed together even in this early stage. A good tip is to blend the ingredients in a pre-warmed china mixing bowl. If your bowl is nice and warm, adding the butter should be easy – the bowl and ingredients will be more receptive to the moisture. The best way to get the butter in is to finely chunk it and mix it in slowly, keeping the bowl warm as you go.
Next comes the wet fruit, eggs and milk. Blend together the eggs and milk then add them in gradually bit by bit, and do the same with the fruit alongside them to maintain a consistency. At this point try to stir as gently as possible as you go along, to keep the air in the mixture.
For cooking you’ll want a cake tin, greased and with grease proof paper on the bottom cut to the size of the base – this can be peeled off later. It’s really important to grease the sides or even use another specially cut piece of grease proof paper as well to stop the cake sticking.
This cake needs a low heat, about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven should have been pre-heated for a good quarter of an hour before it goes in. The cake should take an hour to bake, but check for a golden brown finish, not too soft, and make sure the top of the cake doesn’t collapse by pressing gently down on it. It shouldn’t be too hard or crunchy either – the best thing to do is check it at regular intervals every quarter hour, especially towards the end.
To keep the cake moist and let it develop, the professionals recommend leaving it to go totally cool, then drizzling on two to three tablespoons of brandy every fortnight or so. You can go for half the amount over half the time if you’re in a rush, and this method of ‘feeding’ the cake will give it character. Make sure to wrap it in cling film and keep it under wraps before you ice and decorate it and while it ‘ages’.
For a great guide on the aging process of fruitcakes, and more recipe ideas, check out Fruitcake Rescue, probably one of the coolest websites about cake around.