Prep 45 mins
Cook 2 hrs
This is a very easy cake to make. The fruits never sink, and the cake is not as rich as some fruitcakes. Do not be put off by the list of ingredients -- it's worth adding them all. This is a South African recipe, so Zaarmail me for substitutions if necessary.
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh seedless raisin
- 1 cup fresh golden raisin, also known as sultanas
- 1 cup fresh plump currants
- 1 cup dried mixed fruit, peel preserved
- 2 ounces pitted dates, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zest of, only, grated
- 1 orange, zest of, only, grated
- 1 1⁄3 cups boiling water
- 1⁄2 lb butter, real, soft, in chunks
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
- 2 teaspoons allspice, ground
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg, ground
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil, generous
- 1⁄2 cup brandy or 1⁄2 cup Bourbon
- 2 preserved figs, in syrup, drained, roughly chopped
- 1 cup maraschino cherries or 1 cup glace cherries, whole
- 5 ounces pecans, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup brandy or 1⁄2 cup Bourbon, extra
- Grease and line a large square or round cake tin with baking paper, and grease the paper as well. Heat oven to 375 deg F or 190 deg Celsius.
- In a large pot mix the first 10 ingredients up to and including the boiling water.
- Stir well. Bring to boiling, and simmer without a lid for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool somewhat.
- Stir in the butter and baking soda, and stir well to mix. The mixture will fizz a little.
- When it has cooled down some more, scrape mixture into the bowl of your electric mixture.
- Using lowest speed, add the next 9 ingredients up to and including the brandy or whisky (or use bourbon).
- When everything has been incorporated well, remove the bowl from the mixer. Fold in the chopped figs, whole cherries and roughly chopped nuts. Use a wooden spoon.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, and smooth the top.
- Bake 2 hours, BUT lower heat to 350 deg F /180 deg C after the first hour.
- At the same time lay a double thickness of foil over the cake to prevent scorching.
- Test with a skewer before removing!
- Turn out gently on a wire rack and sprinkle over the last ingredient: the extra half cup of booze.
- When cool, place on waxed paper in an airtight cake tin. Before using at Christmas, sprinkle over brandy, whisky or bourbon another 2 - 3 times.
This cake is a winner! Light and moist, the fruit indeed remains suspended, and is very easy to make. For vegans who want an alcohol-free cake a fruit juice 'brew' made up of grape, berry and cranberry juices, a tablespoon quince preserve, with a teaspoon caramel (!) essence worked perfectly. I used two 9" pans instead of one large pan. The baking time was cut down to 1 hour 10 minutes in total: 40 min at 190 degrees C, and 30 minutes at 180. I hastily baked another batch the day before Christmas, as the first batch didn't last.
My son has egg allergies. I tried this recipe and everyone loved it!