Boiled Fruit Cake
Perfect for celebratory gatherings, this rich, moist cake will keep for several months if you can hide it away from raiding fingers.
- 5 cups (900 g) mixed dried fruit
- 2 cups (320 g) chopped dates
- 100 g chopped glace cherries
- 125 g butter
- 1 cup (185 g) soft brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 3⁄4 cup (185 ml) sherry plus an extra 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) for drizzling
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄4 cup (80 g) apricot jam
- 1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
- 1 cup (150 g) plain flour
- 1⁄3 cup (50 g) blanched almonds
- Put the mixed fruit, dates, cherries, butter, sugar, mixed spice and 3/4 cup (185 ml) of sherry in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to the boil.
- Allow to boil for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Grease and line a 20 cm round cake tin or baking tin with a double layer of baking paper. (Lining the tin with a double layer of paper ensures the cake won't get too hot or cook too fast.)
- When the fruit mixture is cold, stir in the eggs and jam, mixing well.
- Sift the flours over the top, then stir in using a large metal spoon until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon.
- Decorate with the almonds. Bake for 2 hours, or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of the cake has no raw mixture on it (the skewer will not be entirely clean).
- Pour the extra 1/4 cup (60 ml) sherry onto the hot cake as soon as you remove it from oven, so it seeps into the cake. Wrap the cake in a thick towel and leave to cool.
- When the cake is cool, remove the towel, wrap the cake in baking paper or foil and store in an airtight container.