Who doesn’t like a cup of tea and a nice sit down? Well, I don’t actually like tea, but whatever, the answer is clearly no one. And what do you want with your warm beverage and sofa? Cake of course! But none of that fancy rubbish, just a good standard that’s not going to let you down while still perking you up. This fruit cake is perfect for such an occasion.
Now a lot of people want to run in the opposite direction when you mention fruit cake, and to be honest I don’t blame them at all. The vast majority of fruit cakes are way to dry (a little bit is alright actually) and bland or overcooked. This recipe is neither of those things, but still has that crumbly texture and tasty dried fruit that you’re looking for, without being overly dense.
If you fancy making this fruit cake just be prepared to wait a little bit, as after baking you really ought to leave it two or three days before eating, to allow it to mature slightly. That might sound pretty strange, but it doesn’t get stale, it actually gets better! You might not know but Christmas cakes are meant to be made months in advance, although these are fed regularly with alcohol to help them mature over the time. Apparently, when kept like this a fruit cake could be good for 25 years, although I don’t really want to try it out.
Fruit cakes get a bad wrap, and it's mostly deserved. Beat your expectations with this crumbly and delicious version which lasts for more than a week. Perfect for pleasing unexpected guests.
- 200 mL water
- 170 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 115 g demerara sugar
- 200 g raisins
- 140 g sultanas
- 115 g glace cherries halved
- 2 whole eggs beaten
- 225 g self raising flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
Grease and line an 18 cm springform cake tin.
Combine the water, butter, syrup, sugar, raisins, sultanas and cherries in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes before allowing to cool until slightly warm.
Preheat oven to 150oC.
Beat the eggs into the fruit mixture.
Sift the flour and mixed spice into the fruit and fold in thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle to top with demerara sugar.
Bake for 30 mins at 150oC, before reducing the temperature to 120oC for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until cooked. Check by inserting a clean skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done.
When cooled, remove from the tin and wrap in greaseproof paper. Store in an airtight container for 2 - 3 days before eating.