Friday, December 6, 2013

Nutty as a Fruit Cake

Fruit cake featured heavily in the Christmas lineup when I was growing up and I distinctly remember that my mum's was the best. She would make this huge pot of fruit (well it seemed huge) on the stove and then it would miraculously turn in to a cake. I used to love eating the boiled fruit and butter mixture from the pot before the flour and eggs were added. It was a miracle any was left for the cake. So some years ago I asked her for the recipe and her answer... "Its the one off the fruit box but I added a bunch of other stuff." Naturally I wanted to know what other stuff which was met with vague replies of more fruit and some nuts and "then I pour booze all over it. Its in the book". "The book" is a raggety old book mum started way back in the 70's which is filled with recipes from all over the place.  What I have discovered is that the recipe really didn't matter. I doubled the fruit and added some extra peel and nuts then like a dutiful daughter poured booze all over it. The result was delicious. I have been making a full size cakes and struggle to finish them (there is still a piece in the fridge from last year) so this time I decided to make mini cakes. Not cupcakes but quarter sized perfect little fruit cakes. These will be gifts for the support staff at my daughter's school. I think they will be a hit. Well I hope they will because those ladies run that place.

My recipe went as follows:
4 cups of mixed dried fruit (in Australia you can buy this in a packet)
1 cup of mixed peel
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of whole almonds
1cup of brown sugar
5 oz of butter
1 tsp baking soda
Put above in a large pan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few mins then cool.

1/2 cup of plain flour
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Bake at 175ºC or 350ºF for 1.5 hours for a large cake or 35-40 mins for a small cake. The small cake I made was about 10 cm across. For a large cake you will need a 22 cm tin.

The "original" recipe.

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