Tropical fruit and nut cake
Serves 18-20 | total time
- 500g Island fruit mix
- 250g jumbo raisin mix
- 125g dried Morello cherries, or cherries and berries mix
- 75g cut mixed peel
- 150ml golden or dark rum
- juice and zest of 1 large orange
- zest of 1 lemon
For the cake mixture
- 275g butter, at room temperature
- 275g golden caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs, beaten
- 350g plain flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g pecans, roughly chopped
- 100g macadamia nut halves, roughly chopped
Soak the fruit the day before baking. This cake can be eaten straight away, or matured for up to 3 months, wrapped and stored in a cake tin in a cool place.
- Put all the dried fruits, cherries and mixed peel in a bowl, pour over the rum and orange juice and add the citrus zests. Stir and cover with clingfilm then leave to soak overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 140°C, fan 120°C, gas 1. Line a deep 18cm round cake tin with 2 layers of baking paper, making sure it comes 5cm above the top of the tin, as the mixture will come just above the rim of the cake tin. Wrap a strip of double thickness brown paper, the same height as the baking paper, around the outside of the tin; secure with string.
- Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 3 minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Sift in the flour and spices and fold into the creamed mixture. Stir the ground almonds, pecans and macadamias into the soaked fruit mix, then fold it all into the cake mix.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top, tapping the tin on the work surface to ensure there are no air pockets.
- Bake for 4 hours 45 minutes until risen and a skewer in the centre comes away clean, with just a few moist crumbs. If the skewer is sticky, cook for another 15 minutes; test again. Cool for 1 hour in the tin, turn out onto a wire rack, removing the tin and paper; leave to cool upside down.
- When cold, wrap the cake in a double layer of baking paper and foil. If you wish to feed your cake during the maturing time, pierce it all over with a skewer or cocktail stick and drizzle 1 tbsp rum over the top and base of the cake every fortnight or so as it matures, using up to 6 tbsp in total. Don't feed the cake for the final week before you ice it, to allow the surface to dry out.
This lovely moist cake, packed with golden fruits, is a lighter version of a classic fruit cake.