Happy New Year and a Chocolate & Ginger Fruit Cake
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.
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
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.
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.