Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Festive Fruit Cakes

1/2 cup blanched almonds
1 cup pecan nuts
1/2 cup blanched brazil nuts
100g glace pineapple
1 cup pitted dried dates
1 cup red and green glace cherries
3.2 oz butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon brandy or rum
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self-raising flour
1/4 cup apricot jam

Glace fruit and nut topping
3.5 oz glace apricots, chopped
3.5 oz glace pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup red and green glace cherries
1/2 cup pecan nuts
1/2 cup blanched almonds
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Grease eight 3/4-cup capacity pudding moulds or texas muffin holes. Roughly chop almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, pineapple, dates and cherries. Place in a large bowl.
Using electric beaters, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add brandy and mix well. Add butter mixture to fruit mixture and stir to combine. Sift over flours. Stir until well combined. Divide mixture among moulds.
Make glace fruit and nut topping: Combine glace fruit and nuts in a bowl. Spoon evenly over cake mixture, gently pressing down on topping.
Bake cakes for 30 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool cakes in moulds for 2 hours. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spoon jam into a small, heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 30 seconds or until warm. Brush jam over cakes. Allow to set.

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