Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
It doesn't get much easier than this! Use good quality fruit for even more flavour. From chef Wendy Taylor from the North Coast NSW, Australia
- 1 kg mixed dried fruit, use some prunes and figs for extra richness
- 2 cups self raising flour
- 2 cups orange juice concentrate (I substitute 1 cup of juice with rum or try Baileys Irish cream)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice (or 2 teaspoons cinnamon and ½ teaspoon ground cloves)
- Line a high cake tin with baking paper.
- Mix the ingredients together, pour into tin and bake at 200 C for 20 minutes, 175C for 20 minutes and 140 C until cooked- just over an hour in fan forced ovens.
- The whole cooking time is about 2- 2 ½ hours in total.
I was so excited when I saw this recipe in the database, especially since we have a holiday coming up in which we eat a lot of dried fruit and dried fruit-based dishes. I had a few questions about how the fruit should be prepared (cut up, left whole), and precisely what the chef meant by orange juice concentrate, since I know that this can mean different things in different parts of the world. I never really got any answers from the chef and attempted to make this based on what I could figure out on my own. I cut up the fruit and mixed it with the rest of the ingredients, not changing a thing. During the first 20 minutes at 200 degrees C the top already was starting to brown. This is probably due to the high sugar content of the fruit and the orange juice concentrate. I covered the cake with a sheet of silver foil and continued to follow directions, lowering the heat to 175 C after 20 minutes and then 20 minutes after that lowering it to 140. It didn't take long till I could smell the cake starting to burn. I took the cake out after only an hour and a half instead of leaving it in there for the 2 - 2 1/2 hours called for in the recipe. I'm sure that if I had just left it in there on the timer I would have had either a fire in my oven or a black, charred mess. I was very sorry to have to throw out the cake, I wish there was some way I could have salvaged it. Dried fruit, especially a whole kilo of it, can be very expensive. I wish that Missy had at least answered my questions before I tried to make this cake, maybe it would have come out better. I will not be trying this one again.
I don't know what went wrong with Mirj's version as I have gotten an excellent result every time I have made this. I do make the alcoholic variation, and the fruit is chopped fairly fine. I tend to use the commercial packets of mixed fruit with maybe a few extra bits of my own thrown in.