Rich Fruit Cake
450g mixed dried fruits
1 1/4 cup Fortified wine or Sherry
1 1/2 cup Plain flour
150g cup Butter, slightly softened
150g dark Brown sugar
4 medium Eggs
1 tbsp. Dark treacle or cane molasses
1/2 cup Brandy or sherry
1/2 tsp. ground Nutmeg
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Baking powder
2/3+2 tbsp. ground Almonds
200g glaced Cherries, halved
200g Candied peel
1) The day before place the dried fruits in a large bowl, add the 1 1/4 cup sherry and stir well. Cover and leave overnight to soak.
2) Preheat the oven to 325F/170C. Line a 22cm (8″) round cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
3) Place the butter and sugar into a large baking bowl. Using an electric hand whisk or fork, cream the butter into the sugar until light, smooth and creamy.
4) Beat one egg into the creamed butter, then beat in a quarter of the flour. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are used up.
5) Add the molasses, 1/2 cup brandy or sherry, nutmeg, lemon juice to the cake mixture and stir gently using a spoon or spatula. Finally, stir in the baking powder.
6) Drain the dried fruits and add the ground almonds, glaced cherries and candied peel. Stir well then add to the cake mixture stirring gently until all the fruits are incorporated into the mixture. Stir gently so as not to ‘flatten’ the cake mixture.
7) Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and gently level the surface. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 – 2½ hours or until dark, golden brown.