If you like fruit cake then you must give this a go. I was a bit dubious about making this because the method involves boiling the fruit to begin with, but it has worked out a treat. It’s also nice with a few teaspoons of brandy poured inside, but that’s optional.
250ml (8 fl oz) water
900g (1 1b) dried mixed fruit
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
170g (6 oz) butter or margarine
230g (8 oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon of mixed spice
2 eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons of brandy (optional). I don’t have any options, it just goes in!
Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas Mark 2. Grease a 2 1b loaf tin, and line with baking paper.
Mix together the water, dried fruit, sugar and butter or margarine in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and gently, not a rolling ferocious boil, for around 10 minutes.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice into a large bowl. Pour into this the boiled fruit mixture and stir thoroughly. Stir in the beaten eggs.
Pour this mixture into the loaf tin
Bake for 90 minutes, but check after 60. Place a skewer into the centre or a knife and if it comes out clean the cake is done.
Cool cake for about 20 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
If you want to add some brandy, wait for the cake to cool for another 20 minutes, 40 in total, and then with a skewer, insert about 4 or five holes in the cake, going down about half way. Then use the teaspoons of brandy and gently pour into the holes made by the skewer.
Wrap the cake in foil and place in a cake tin and eat within a couple of days. It tastes better the next day.