It’s time to bake the cake, The Fruit Cake, a quintessential cake for Christmas every year. I have been baking the classic fruit cake every year now during this time of the year for my family and friends. And the traditional spruced up fruit cake full of plump and moist dried fruit has become a family favorite now that we love it to the last bits.
The mincemeat had stayed in fridge for more than a week, soaking all the lovely juices of oranges and lemons. Yeah, I prefer to make my mincemeat without the suet and without the booze. I know, you must be wondering, what good that would be without a generous and gorgeous helping of rum or sherry.
Actually, family doesn’t like the flavor of rum or any alcohol. So, I tend to the alternative of using orange juice. And trust me, that does a handsome job. The only challenge, I think of using fresh orange juice is that mincemeat won’t stay good for a very long time.
This year, we went slightly adventurous and baked a chocolate fruit cake from Nigella Lawson’s Feast. A wonderful book by the domestic goddess, is truly a celebration of food, a celebration of festivities and a celebration of life. This cake, apart from being a chocolate fruit cake, is a squidgy and super moist one, with loads of dried fruit that goes into making this.
This cake calls for lot of ingredients, but actually it just is a very quick prep cake, with all the ingredients that you need to bung into. This cake is good with or without the marzipan Christmas frosting, and stays well for more than a couple of weeks, like your traditional fruit cake.
150 grams currants
150 grams raisins
150 grams cranberries
150 grams currants
50 grams chopped almonds
50 grams chopped cashews
50 grams piece candied orange peel
2 – 3 oranges (juice and zest)
1 lemon (juice and zest)
150 grams soft unsalted butter
175 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
175 ml honey
125 ml freshly brewed espresso
1 tsp mixed spice
4 tbsp cocoa
3 large eggs (beaten)
150 grams plain flour
75 grams ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
- Mix all the dry fruits, spices, orange and lemon juice and zest in a big air tight container and let the dry fruits soak for 3 to 4 days in fridge or at least 24 hours.
- Once dry fruits are ready, preheat the oven at 150 degree C. Line the side and bottom of 23 cm springform pan with double layer of parchment paper. Parchment paper on the sides of pan should reach twice as high as pan’s depth. Wrap one more layer of parchment paper around the side of the pan and tie with a kitchen string.
- In a saucepan, mix soaked dry fruits, cocoa, butter, honey, sugar and espresso and simmer for around 10 minutes, until butter is melted. Let cool for half an hour.
- In another bowl, mix beaten eggs, flour, almond powder, baking soda and baking powder. Mix in the dry fruits mixture thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 1 3/4 – 2 hours, until cakes looks shiny on top and skewer inserted into the center comes out with few crumbs on it.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap it in a parchment paper and then in a foil and store in a tin, if you don’t want to eat it immediately.