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A light, moist fruit cake
Preheat oven to 150DegC.
Pick through the sultanas & raisins and remove any stalks. If raisins are large & plump, cut in half, place into a large bowl.
Quarter cherries, roughly cut up the remaining glacé fruit add to the dried fruit.
Add the orange liqueur, cover with plastic wrap & allow to steep overnight - or at least an hour or two.
Place almonds onto a lined baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned and aromatic.
Remove from oven, allow to cool then place into an airtight container.
Line a 30cm round or square cake tin with baking paper - be sure to use at least 6 layers on the base of the pan and extend the sides by at least 4-5cm (the cake bakes for between 1½ and 2 hours so the height of the sides and thickness of the base will prevent scorching/burning)
Beat butter and sugar until pale and thick.
Add beaten eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Put jam into a small bowl & 'loosen' the jam by adding a splash of Cointreau & mix well.
Fold in the fruits, nuts and jam/liqueur into the butter/sugar mixture.
Gradually add sifted flours. (the mixture is quite dense and stiff)
Spoon the mixture into prepared baking tin and level the top with a spatula.
Bake for 1½ hours & check with a skewer. If required return to the oven and cook in 10 minute increments. Keep a watchful eye to prevent overcooking/burning.
Remove from oven & cover tightly with aluminium foil and allow to cool completely.
Once cooled, remove from pan and wrap in clean greaseproof paper then wrap in aluminium foil to maintain freshness.
For a more boozey cake ;-) pierce top of warm cake with a skewer and spoon over added orange liqueur or brandy.
I cut all the glace fruit to roughly the same size, which took an age, but was well worth the effort.
* For a darker cake, substiture dark brown sugar for caster sugar
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