Fruit cake


Makes 1x 20cm cake

200g butter

200g Muscovado (dark brown) sugar

75ml brandy

1 tsp vanilla essence

250g raisins

250g currants

100g dried cranberries

100g chopped dried apricots

100g dried pears, chopped

100g dark (70% cocoa) chocolate, chopped

200g self-raising flour

100g ground almonds

3 Tbs cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs, beaten

To feed:

45ml brandy (for each feeding session per week)

Combine butter, sugar, brandy, vanilla, raisins, currants, cranberries, apricots and pears into a large pot. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until everything has melted together.

Remove from the heat then stir in the chocolate to melt, then leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 150C. Grease a deep round bundt tin, 20cm.  If using a plain round cake tin, wrap a few layers of newspaper around the outside of the tin and secure with string – this will protect your cake from the harsh heat in the oven.

Mix the self-raising flour,ground almonds, cocoa and cinnamon.

Stir the eggs into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture.

Mix in the dry ingredients then transfer into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 1 hr 30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If the top of the cake gets too dark, then cover with foil for remainder of cooking time. NOTE: If using a regular cake tin (not a bundt tin), the cake may need longer cooking time.

Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Unmould the cake, then poke holes all over the cake using a cake tester or toothpick.

Pour the 45ml of brandy over the cake, then store in an airtight container.

Feed the cake once a week by pouring 45ml brandy onto the cake – do this for at least 4 weeks or until ready to decorate and eat.