Fruit cake is one of those foodstuffs reviled in childhood and not truly appreciated until you're older and wiser. I used to hate fruit cake when I was little, but now the mere thought of homemade fruit cake, heavy and moist with plump and juicy currants, raisins and sultanas, is reason enough to make me drool.
Small slices taken with a fresh cup of tea is my preference, and with Christmas not too far away, I'm looking forward to plenty more fruit cake in the near future.
These beauties were baked by Veruca Salt and A. I contributed some random cherry chopping, but my biggest contribution was probably my compulsive consumption efforts.
Moist boiled fruit cake
based on a recipe by The Australia Women's Weekly
2 1/4 cups (375g) sultanas
1 1/2 cups (250g) chopped raisins
1 1/2 cups (250g) currants
1/2 cup mixed peel
1 cup halved glace cherries
1/4 cup chopped glace pineapple
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup water
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon treacle
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
extra glace cherries and blanched almonds or pecans for decorating
Place fruit, butter, sugar, brandy and water in a saucepan and heat gently, whilst stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat and bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for about ten minutes. Transfer hot mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.
Grease a deep 23cm round (or a deep 19cm square) cake pan, and line the base with two layers of baking sheet paper (we've used lined brown paper with excellent results). Make sure the paper is taller than the pan by about 5cm, creating a collar as shown in the top picture above.
Add eggs, treacle and citrus rinds to the fruit mixture and stir through. Stir in sifted flours and bicarb and then spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Decorate the top with glace cherries and almonds or pecans if preferred. Bake at 150C for about 2 1/2 hours. Cover cake with foil and allow to cool in the pan.
Keeps for 3 months. We found it also tasted better and felt more firm and moist when kept in the fridge.
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11/02/2006 09:55:00 p.m.