Cheat's Christmas Cake

A moist fruit cake.

Ingredients


  • 700 g mixed dried fruits
  • 350 ml dark rum
  • 5 tblsp cherry brandy
  • 225 g dried pineapple pieces
  • 125 g dried cranberries
  • 200 g glace cherries
  • 75 g blanched almonds (chopped)
  • 1 tblsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 350 g softened butter
  • 350 g soft, light brown sugar
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 350 g self raising flour

Method

  1. Firstly, put the mixed dried fruit, rum and brandy in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Cool, and leave it to soak for one to four days, depending on how much of a hurry is on you.
  4. The longer you're able to leave it, the more moist the end product will be.
  5. Grease a 23cm/9inch round cake tin and line the base and sides with double thickness baking parchment so that it comes three quarters of an inch above the rim.
  6. Place one third of the soaked dried fruit in a food processor and give it a whizz until it's finely minced.
  7. Set aside, and add the dried pineapple pieces, cherries, cranberries, almonds and ground spices to the remaining soaked dried fruit.
  8. Stir this well to mix it up, add the grated orange rind and stir again.
  9. In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  10. Beat in the eggs, one by one, adding 2 tablespoons flour with each.
  11. Sift over the remaining flour and beat thoroughly until the mixture is pale and soft.
  12. Heat the oven to 170°C (340°F/Gas 4).
  13. Fold in the mixed fruit.
  14. Gently, stir in the remaining fruit.
  15. Spoon into the tin and spread level, making a well in the centre.
  16. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2), cover the cake loosely with foil and bake for two and a half hours.
  17. Because oven temperatures tend to vary, check the cake after two and a quarter hours, by sticking a skewer into the middle.
  18. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  19. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.




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