Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs 30 mins
This excellent recipe was published in the Melbourne Age in the lead up to Christmas 2002. Maggie Beer is a very well respected cook here in Australia. It is a lovely, moist, rich, fruit cake and everyone who tasted it loved it. I actually soaked the fruit in brandy for three weeks and topped the brandy up a few times, which no doubt improved the flavour even more! Prep time does not include soaking the fruit.
- 500 g sultanas
- 300 g currants
- 175 g seedless raisins
- 1⁄4 cup good-quality bitter marmalade
- 150 g mixed peel
- 2 grated oranges, zest of
- 120 ml brandy
- 300 g unbleached plain flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 220 g softened unsalted butter
- 200 g soft light brown sugar
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 100 g blanched almonds
- Mix the dried fruit and orange zest together in a glass or china bowl.
- Pour the brandy over and mix again.
- Cover the bowl and leave for at least 24 hours, turning mixture occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
- Grease and line a 24cm round cake tin with several layers of paper.
- Paper should extend 10cm above the rim of the tin.
- Sift flour, spices and salt.
- Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Beat eggs in a separate bowl then mix very gradually into the creamed mixture.
- Gently fold in the spiced flour, then fold in the dried fruit mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Decorate the top with blanched almonds.
- Bake for about 3 hours.
- A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean when the cake is cooked.
- A baking dish full of water placed on the oven shelf below the cake during cooking will help keep the cake moist.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 30 minutes before transfering to a wire rack.
- To store, wrap the cake in several layers of greaseproof paper, then wrap in foil and store in an air-tight tin.