With the vast array of delicious dried fruit available at MAD, it was about time I posted up a fruit cake recipe, so I bashed this bad badger out this week and it was the bomb!…
This recipe is an adaptation from Laura Davidson’s “World’s Best Fruit Cake” (well if you’re going to make one, you might as well make the best one, right?). You can find the original recipe here, but her recipe makes two cakes so I’ve cut things down and adapted ingredients so that you can get most of them right here at MAD. As usual, we’ve made a pack for this that has all the MAD ingredients included for you here. A short walk down the hill to the Fruit and Veg shop (and the butcher for their eggs) will get you the remainder of the ingredients – oh and don’t forget you’ll need some dark rum!
There are a few additional steps you can take after baking, such as storing in an alcohol soaked cheesecloth in the fridge for 6-8 weeks to age the cake, and/or glazing (I’d use Drunken Sailor’s Pear, Vanilla & Whiskey Jam and then garnish with some pecans…) so I’d encourage you to check out the original recipe for these steps; I’ve no doubt ageing even just for a week will improve the intensity and flavour of the cake. Personally, once I took it out of the oven it was all I could do not to start slicing it up and nomming it with a cuppa right then and there, but you could also go the Christmas cake route with this by ageing it and then adding jam, marzipan and icing for a more traditional Christmas centre-piece.
Ingredients – makes one loaf or round cake (I used a 20cm round cake tin)
For the fruit mix
100g natural sultanas
80g peaches, chopped
80g apricots, chopped
80g figs, chopped
80g plums, chopped
60g prunes, chopped
120ml dark rum
For the batter
60g unsalted butter (at room temp/softened)
80g rapadura sugar
90g plain cake flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
3 medium eggs (at room temp)
For add-ins to the batter
Freshly grated zest of half a lemon
Freshly grated zest of half an orange
Freshly squeezed juice of half an orange
Half a Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
20g crystalised ginger, finely diced
- The day before you plan to bake, throw all the fruit mix ingredients (if you’ve bought the pack, bags 1 & 2 – remember to chop the contents of bag 2 first!) into a bowl and stir gently to cover all the fruit with the rum.
- Cover and leave on the bench at room temperature, ideally for 24 hours (you can do 12 hours at a push, but the longer the better; I left mine for 36 hours), stirring once or twice to help the fruit absorb all the rum.
Make the cake (following day)
- Preheat the oven to 150C with a rack in the middle of the oven, and prepare your loaf or cake tin.
- In a standing mixer bowl (or you can use a normal bowl and hand-held electric mixer), gently cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- One at a time, mix in the eggs until just combined. The mixture may look a bit split, but that’s ok.
- In a separate small bowl, mix up the flour, baking powder, spices and salt, (you’ll find these in bag 3 of the pack) ensuring no lumps, then gradually add to the butter and egg mixture, mixing slowly until just combined.
- If using a standing mixer, remove the bowl. The remainder should be mixed by hand. Add in the grated lemon zest, orange zest, grated apple, orange juice, walnuts and ginger (these two are in bag 4 of the pack; again, make sure you chop them first!), and finally your soaked fruit (including any rum that’s not been fully absorbed into the mixture). Stir gently to thoroughly combine, ensuring you get all the batter well mixed in with the fruit.
- Transfer to your prepared tin and smooth out as evenly as possible (see below).
- Bake for 1hr and 20 minutes, checking after an hour and then every 5-10 minutes to ensure it doesn’t catch.
- Remove and allow to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- If you’re ageing or glazing, check out the original recipe for guidelines on how to do this, otherwise, slice and enjoy!