This is my version of the classic Christmas cake- soaked in brandy for weeks prior to Christmas and definitely not child friendly! I classically make it mid November and store it in the fridge adding extra brandy every couple days. Its part of the classic Christmas build up and to be honest I don't actually like fruitcake but my partner loves it!
- 1 kg mixed fruit
- ½ cup brandy , other options sherry, port or rum. If you want a non alcoholic option- soak in Tea or orange juice.
- 200 grams butter
- 2 cups premium flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup golden syrup
- ½ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
Night before making
- Put the dried fruit in a large Snaplock bag, then pour brandy or alternative. Close the bag and lie flat so the most fruit comes in contact with the liquid. Leave it to stand for 24-48 hours. The fruit will plump up and look juicy.
- You can speed up this process by placing the half sealed bag in the microwave. Give short bursts of 30 sec to 1 min. Turning the bag over between bursts. Repeat this process until fruit feels hot. At this stage lie the bag flat on a surface to completely cool, never make recipe with hot ingredients or you will cook it.
- Heat oven to 150 C and line a 20 cm square pan with baking paper
- Cut the cubed cold butter into the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt with a food processor. Set aside
- Place golden syrup tin in a bowl of hot water, this will make it easier to mix with the milk. Next measure the golden syrup and pour into milk then add eggs and whisk till combined.
- Next place the fruit mix in a large bowl and add flour mix and milk mix. Then mix with wooden spoon or by hand to combine and pour into prepared tin.
- I never ice my cakes but decorate with crystalized ginger, candied cherries and almonds. My favourite pattern has the cherries surrounded by almonds to look like flowers- but experiment and have fun.
- Bake in oven for 2 – 2½ hours, until a skewer comes out clean. This cake is best to overcook then not as it can be stored for weeks and it can sink in the middle if not quite cooked.
- Cool the cooked cake in its tin then gently turn it over.
- Once completely cooled, I wrap it in cheesecloth or a nice clean teacloth then wrap tin foil, I store it in the fridge and every couple days pour a couple tablespoons of brandy over the top to soak in and by the time Christmas rolls around it is truly soaked and super moist.
- I don't typically do this because I continue to baste the cake with alcohol but just prior to serving it could be glazed, To make the glaze combine ¼ cup Apricot jam with 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Heat until runny then brush on cake,