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Happy New Year and a Chocolate & Ginger Fruit Cake

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Happy New Year everyone and welcome 2012. New Years morning, even before breakfast, hubby and I write a list of goals for the year ahead. Some people have New Year resolutions but i like a list! A little pedantic some think but I am a great believer of if you verbalize it and put it out there the universe will help you achieve it. Do you do anything like this at the beginning of a new year?

Here is my Christmas cake recipe that I rushed to make the week before Christmas. I’m glad I did, even without the maturing in booze for several months it turned out scrummy, this years twist was adding chocolate and ginger to the mix which is my favourite so far.

Ingredients
200g sultanas
200g raisins
200g pitted chopped prunes
300g chopped figs
150g glace cherries
150g chopped crystalized ginger
200g dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
280g chopped almonds
1 cup brandy
1cup orange juice
250g butter, chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup treacle
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup of cocoa
1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Extra 1/2 cup port or brandy for pouring over cake.

Method
Soak all fruit, orange juice and brandy in a bowl for several hours (or overnight) until all liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven on bake to 150C (do not use fan bake as this will dry the cake out). Line the sides and base of a deep 23cm-round tin with two layers of baking paper (help prevent drying out), bringing it 5cm above the rim of the tin.
In a bowl combine the flour, spices, cocoa, chopped chocolate and chopped nuts.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until is pale yellow light and creamy. Then beat in the treacle.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the fruit to the creamed mixture and mix together.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until just combined but do not over mix.
Spoon a layer of mixture across the base of the tin and gently spread so the lining doesn’t move. Spoon and spread the rest of the mixture into the tin.
Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the top to help prevent the cake from drying out.
Wrap brown paper around the tin and tie with string. My Nan always did this to prevent it from drying out and I have done it ever since.
Bake for 2-2.5 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Check at two hours and then every 15 minutes.
Once cake is cold pour over port and wrap in clingfilm/gladwrap and place in a tin and store in a dry place.

You can substitute any of the fruit as long as you keep the quantities the same. I use prunes & figs since they produce a more moist cake.

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. That’s a beautiful looking cake and great use of colour – Happy New Year😉

    December 31, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      Many thanks, even though I now live in NZ where it is warm I still think of Christmas as dark days huddled around the fire which I have been trying to depict in the dark photos, it’s fun playing with lighting but frustrating sometimes too.

      December 31, 2011
  2. Happy New Year Alli (& hubby) !
    I’m about to write my list for 2012 too, not before breakfast though. Your cake looks fantastic with the addition of chocolate and ginger, I’m in no doubt it tastes as good as it looks.

    December 31, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      And don’t forget to add the new foodie photography venture to that list!

      December 31, 2011
  3. I am a huge fan of lists and confess to writing them and striking things off even after I have done them! Anyway, my personal madness aside, I love this cake🙂 I still have enough fruit left over from Christmas baking to tackle this one next week…and I adore ginger. Happy New Year!

    December 31, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      If you do make it let me know what you think, we have almost finished ours!

      December 31, 2011
  4. A delicious and moist looking cake!

    Happy New Year!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    December 31, 2011
  5. Beautiful looking cake, Alli – love the chocolate and ginger twist.

    Now I have been known to succumb to more than a little bit of compulsive list making in my time, but never before breakfast. Besides you no me – you would probably have written lists for the next three years to come, and had two breakfasts, before I even get out of bed🙂

    Happy New Year, my friend and a million thanks for your help and support last year xo

    December 31, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      You’re welcome Sue, its great to have made a new friend and it was fun having you as a neighbour and we miss you. We do hope to visit you this year in your new place and take a look at Nelson too since I have never been. Xx

      December 31, 2011
  6. Ciao Allison

    Happy New Year to you and all the best for a great and fulfilling 2012, and for all your goals!!

    XXX

    Alessandra

    January 1, 2012
  7. Looks great have a wonderful New Year.

    January 1, 2012
  8. Dark chocolate and ginger in a sweet, rich, dense spice cake? Sounds like a fabulous way to ring in Christmas, the New Year, or any day at all!😉

    January 2, 2012
  9. Happy New Year Alli! And I love lists..all year round but especially at New Year🙂

    January 5, 2012
  10. I almost missed this one. “Scrummy”…love it🙂 It definitely looks delicious!
    Happy New Year!

    January 7, 2012
  11. That Chocolate & Ginger Fruit Cake is perfect for this season!
    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

    January 7, 2012

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