Put in a large saucepan:
– 100g-150g chopped dates (can buy in a packet or deseed and chop whole dates)
– 500g mixed vine fruits
– 100g chopped peel (if not in mixed fruit, or extra if you like)
– 2 rounded tsp ground mixed spice
– 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
– 150g-200g butter (either unsalted or salted) roughly cubed
– zest of one orange and one lemon
– enough water or cold tea to cover fruit plus extra 1/2” (chai tea goes well with the spices)
Bring to boil and simmer gently for 10-15 mins. Stir occasionally till dates break down to a paste, add more liquid if mix looks thick and dry
Meanwhile preheat oven – fan 160o – and line bottom and side of 23cm round cake or springform tin with baking parchment
Allow fruit mix to cool then add
– 2 lightly beaten eggs (eggs will curdle if mix too hot)
– juice of lemon
– Optional: 100g or so of flaked blanched almonds or chopped glace cherries or both
Stir to mix and sift over
– 1 cup of flour (plain white or wholemeal, or a mix of half ground almonds and flour)
– 2 rounded tsp baking powder (only 1tsp if using SR flour)
– 1 rounded tsp bicarb soda
Mix should be a thick lumpy batter, add a little liquid if too thick or flour if too thin
Pour into prepared cake tin and level surface of cake
Bake approx one hour, depending on your oven it may take 45-50mins or an extra 15mins. Guess by the lovely smell! Middle of cake should feel firm spongy but check with toothpick if not sure. Leave to cool in tin.
Wrap in clean baking parchment and aluminium foil. This is a very moist cake almost like bread pudding so keep in the fridge if kitchen is warm, keeps two weeks if it lasts that long! A little tip for cutting: take a thick slice through middle of cake, portion into two or three, push the two edges together.
Happy baking! We’d love to see how your fruit cake turns out. Please share pics on our Facebook page or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.