So, my fruit has been marinating/macerating/steeping/lacing/whatever for about a week now, and it has drunk up all the lovely alcohol and sugar. It's proper nice, I can tell you that for nothing! The smell of the sherry, rum and fruit together is just magical!
Now the time has come to mix the fruit with the cake mixture. The cake is a standard creamed sponge cake, known as a Victoria sponge or pound cake, and mixed in equal parts with the fruit preparation. You should have a pound in weight (450 grammes) each of cake mix and fruit mix, which are then combined and baked. My first cake of the year came out very nicely!
The cake mixture is as follows.
☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☒ Dairy (use ingredients in italics for a dairy-free version)
☒ Nuts (use ingredients in italics for a nut-free version)
Makes one 8 inch (20 centimetre) round cake
For the cake mixture
- 3 ounces (85 grammes) butter or block margarine
- 3 ounces (85 grammes) soft brown sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 4 ounces (115 grammes) white spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix
- 1 ounce (30 grammes) ground almonds
- For a nut free version, just replace this with an extra ounce of flour
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or almond essence
- 1 pound (450 grammes) of fruit preparation
- Prepare your cake tin. Grease and flour the inside, and then double line the bottom and sides with baking paper. Preheat the oven to Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F, Gas Mk.2½, or moderately cool) and set the rack in the centre of the oven with plenty of room to spare from the rack above it.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla or almond essence, and then the ground almonds.
- Sieve in the flour, spice and salt and mix in until the flour has just disappeared.
- Add the fruit preparation and combine thoroughly.
- Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 1½ hours. Half way through cooking, reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F, Gas Mk.2, or moderately cool).
- Start checking for doneness after about an hour and a quarter. The cake is baked when a skewer inserted into the thickest part - usually the middle - comes out completely clean. If it isn't, continue cooking but don't cook for more than 1½ hours in total; it'll be dry and chewy.
- Once cooked, allow to cool completely in the tin before taking out and transferring to a wire rack.