How to Make An English Fruit Cake : Easy to follow Recipe
For my son's 19th birthday we decided to bake an English fruit cake using a recipe from my 92 year old mum's kitchen notebook! Although the finished product had an unusual appearance it tasted divine. After about an hour with his teenage friends only crumbs remained!
The UK is known for creating dozens of different kinds of fruit cake, from simple sultana slices to dark and mysterious Christmas cakes, steeped in rumfustian juices.
This cake is somewhere between the two and should be a delicious addition to any family meal, or a tea or coffee break party! In fact it would grace any table on any occasion!
You'll find this cake sweet but not as sweet as many other fruit cakes out there! Sugar has been minimised. The goodness of three eggs - with iron and vitamins and protein - has to be a bonus.
Please note that the addition of small amounts of spirits are optional! My mum loved to put a 'good drop of sherry' in her fruit cakes but you may wish for something different!
Alternative Fruit Cake
For a healthier version try olive oil mixed with butter, egg whites only, use dried chopped apricots, cherries and dates, wholemeal flour and white flour combined and lower the sugar content further, according to taste.
- 250g self raising flour
- 200g soft butter
- 50g dark/demerara sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp molasses
- 2 medium sized apples
- 250g sultanas/raisins/mixed peel
- Heat oven to 180c / gas mark 4. Grease (butter) your medium sized cake tin and leave to one side. Peel apples, core, cut into small chunks and leave in lemon water so they don't get brown.
- Mix flour, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, mixed spice and molasses until thick and creamy.
- Add apple chunks and sultanas and raisins. Stir into creamy mix. Make sure the mixture is stiff enough to suspend all fruits. If not the cake will be bottom heavy in fruit, and the top too dry and crumbly.
- Transfer creamy mix to cake tin.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes (depends on efficiency of oven) or until dark golden brown.
- Use a probe/skewer/thin knife to check if cooked in middle. When cooked the implement will be dry and not have uncooked cake stuck to it!
- Leave to cool on a rack.
- Wrap in foil or greaseproof paper and keep in fridge a few hours to allow cake to firm up.
Handy Tips and Suggestions
- Soak your fruit in cold black tea overnight for darker fruit and a darker cake.
- Darker sugar eg muscavado could also be used for similar effect.
Instead of sultanas and raisins add cherries, chopped dried apricots, pineapple pieces.Other additions include : raspberry liquer or rum/brandy, ginger, cinnamon, applesauce or cranberry sauce. Please note that these should be used separately and not combined!!
- Baking powder can be made by mixing 15ml bicarbonate of soda with 30ml cream of tartar.
- To avoid burning the cake and exposed fruits lower the oven temperature and slow bake until cooked.
- If you wish, sherry/rum/brandy can be added after the cake is finished and ready to be served.
- For very special occasions small amounts of brandy can be dripped carefully over the cake and lit to produce the traditional blue tinged with yellow Christmas flames, well known in the UK and Europe.
|Serving size: Thin Slice|
|Calories from Fat||9|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 1 g||2%|
|Carbohydrates 11 g||4%|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Claxton's have been making their famous old fashion fruit cakes since 1910. Here's three in one.
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© 2012 Andrew Spacey