Rich Fruit cake is one of the ‘must have’ items for your afternoon tea or sneaky snack surely? Ah, but is it something you can actually confidently buy? Well, the shops sell it, but do you really want to eat what they sell you?
The big problem with bought fruit cake is that, like all things mass produced, the bakers have one eye on keeping the cost down, and the other eye on how to preserve it as long as possible – no eyes left to provide a fruit cake you would die for, is there?.
A proper fruit cake you see contains a shed load of fruit, and with appropriate ingredients, it will keep for months on end (wrapped in aluminium foil or stored in an airtight tin that is) – but that’s not what you get in a bought fruit cake is it? Too little of everything good, a fruit cake that doesn’t taste like it, has a limited shelf life, and doesn’t keep when you get it home!
You really don’t have to be a master-chef to cook your own fruit cake though. You can ensure you have a slice of fruit cake you can really enjoy and if you are really kind, you can even share it with pride with your loved ones!
Making it can be sorted in about half an hour, and then you can sit back & relax while it cooks for a couple of hours or so at a low temperature in your oven!
Ah, it will be reasonably cheap, but is it healthy food? No factory additives, no flavour enhancers, no stabilisers, no rising agents, and the rest of the rubbish they add these days of course, and you will be fully satisfied with just a small slice, so you won’t have to worry about that health issue, even if you are looking after your diet!
WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY (for a 7” round tin size)
Butter (or margarine) – 4oz/110g [not cold]
Sugar (soft brown if possible) – 3oz/85g/½ cup
Eggs – 2 [not cold]
Marmalade – 1 tablespoon
Plain Flour – 6oz/175g/1 ¼ cups
Spices – Mixed spice (1/2 tsp)/Cinnamon (pinch)/Nutmeg (pinch)/Salt (pinch)
Dried fruit – a total of 700g/1 ½ lb (say sultanas/raisins/currents/some glace cherries/a bit of mixed peel perhaps)
Brandy (or Rum or Sherry or cold Tea) – ¼ cup
WHAT TO DO
- Put your Dried Fruit in a bowl and mix in your Brandy or whatever (and leave to soak for a bit)
- Grease your 7” round tin (or a 6” square tin)
- In a second container mix together the Flour and Spices
- Turn on your oven to heat up – with a temperature setting of 300 F/150 C/gas 2
- In a largest bowl cream together the Butter & Sugar (with a wooden spoon or a hand mixer if you have one)
- Add the Eggs – one at a time, beating each in
- Now beat in also the Marmalade
- Add to the mixture, without beating in, some of the Dried Fruit & some of the Flour/Spices mixture alternately, until both all used up
- Now shove the completed mixture into your greased tin
- Bake in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours (the top will be firm to the touch and not burnt – test it though by using a skewer which should come out completely dry when pushed to the middle)
- Allow to cool & turn out your fruit cake
NOW YOU ARE A LUCKY PERSON!