Thursday, February 21, 2008

Christmas Fruit Cake

21 oz sultanas
14 oz raisins
7 oz currants
3.5 oz glace cherries, quartered
3.5 oz glace orange slices, finely chopped
3 oz glace ginger, finely chopped
1/2 pint brandy
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
9 oz butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
pure icing sugar, to serve

Place dried fruit, glace fruit and 1 cup brandy in a large airtight container. Mix well. Cover and stand overnight or preferably for 1 week, stirring occasionally.
Lightly grease a 3.5 inch deep, 8 inch square cake pan. Line base and sides with brown paper and baking paper. Preheat oven to 300 F. Sift flours and spices into a bowl. Using electric beaters, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add marmalade and 1 tablespoon flour mixture and beat until well combined. Using a large metal spoon, fold remaining flour mixture into butter mixture.
Add fruit mixture to butter mixture and stir until combined. Press into pan. Smooth surface. Tap base of pan on workbench to settle fruit and remove air bubbles.
Cover cake with 3 layers brown paper. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons brandy over cake while still hot. Wrap cake pan in a clean tea towel and allow to cool completely. Remove cake from pan and dust with icing sugar. Serve.

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