Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Fruit-filled clementine cake

Ingredients

  • 4 small clementines
  • 200g unsalted butter , softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g raisin
  • 140g sultana
  • 140g currant
  • 100g glacé cherry , quartered
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs , beaten
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 140g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder (we used Fiddes Payne, which is gluten-free)
  • icing sugar , to decorate (most are gluten-free, but check the packaging)
  • 100g ground almond

For the topping

  • 4 clementines
  • 140g caster sugar

Method

  • STEP 1To make the cake, place the clementines in a small pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hr or until tender. Drain and cool.
  • STEP 2Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with a disc of buttered baking parchment. Cut the cooked clementines in half and remove any pips. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed.
  • STEP 3Combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries and brandy in a bowl. Add the clementine pulp and mix well. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition. In another bowl, combine the spices, ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Fold into the creamed mixture along with the dried fruit and clementine pulp.
  • STEP 4Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and continue to cook for a further 40 mins. You may need to loosely cover the top of the cake with a sheet of baking parchment for the final 20 mins to prevent it browning too quickly. Cool in the tin for 30 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • STEP 5To make the topping, slice the clementines to a 5mm thickness. Tip the sugar into a saucepan with 140ml water and cook over a low heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Put the clementine slices in the pan and stir through. To keep the clementines submerged in the syrup, cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to fit into the pan and place over the fruit. Cook over a low heat for 1 hr until glossy and translucent. Remove and spread out over greaseproof paper to cool.
  • STEP 6To serve, dust the whole cake with icing sugar, then arrange the clementine slices, overlapping, over the top of the cake.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Fruit scones

Ingredients

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 100g sultanas
  • beaten egg to glaze
  • jam and clotted cream, to serve

Method

  • STEP 1Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar.
  • STEP 2Put the milk into a jug and heat in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Put a baking sheet in the oven.
  • STEP 3Make a well in the dry mix, then add the liquid and sultanas and combine it quickly with a cutlery knife – it will seem pretty wet at first. Scatter some flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 4cm deep.
  • STEP 4Take a 5cm cutter (smooth-edged cutters tend to cut more cleanly, giving a better rise) and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then repeat until you have four scones. You may need to press what’s left of the dough back into a round to cut out another four.
  • STEP 5Brush the tops with beaten egg, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
  • STEP 6Bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking, generously topped with jam and clotted cream. If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven (about 160C/140C fan/gas 3) for a few mins to refresh.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Easy chocolate fudge cake

Ingredients

  • 150ml sunflower oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150ml semi-skimmed milk

For the icing

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 2½ tbsp milk (a little more if needed)

Method

  • STEP 1Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base of two 18cm sandwich tins. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add the caster sugar and mix well.
  • STEP 2Make a well in the centre and add the golden syrup, eggs, sunflower oil and milk. Beat well with an electric whisk until smooth.
  • STEP 3Pour the mixture into the two tins and bake for 25-30 mins until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from oven, leave to cool for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  • STEP 4To make the icing, beat the unsalted butter in a bowl until soft. Gradually sieve and beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder, then add enough of the milk to make the icing fluffy and spreadable.
  • STEP 5Sandwich the two cakes together with the butter icing and cover the sides and the top of the cake with more icing.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Festive fruit and nut cake

Ingredients

  • 250g butter , at room temperature
  • 140g light muscovado sugar
  • 6 large eggs , beaten
  • 280g plain flour
  • 85g ground almond
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 700g luxury mixed fruit (including raisins, currants, sultanas, mixed peel and glace cherries)
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 140g white marzipan , diced

For the florentine topping

  • 50g each whole skinned hazelnut and blanched almonds
  • 85g each Brazil nuts and flaked almonds
  • 140g whole glacé cherries
  • 100g golden syrup

To decorate

  • 1 metre of wide ribbon

Method

  • STEP 1Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C and lightly grease and line the base and sides of a deep 22-23cm round loose-based cake tin with Bake-o-Glide or baking parchment (see overleaf). Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds and spices until thoroughly mixed and creamy, preferably with an electric beater or in a food mixer.
  • STEP 2Measure off 100g/4oz of the cake mixture, put in a bowl and set aside. Fold the fruit and rum into the remaining mixture, then gently stir in the marzipan. Spoon this mixture into the prepared cake tin and flatten with a spatula to make a smooth even surface, then make a slight dip in the centre of the cake. This simple trick will give the finished cake a nice flat top. Bake for 11⁄4 hours.
  • STEP 3While the cake is in the oven, make the fruit and nut topping. Mix all the nuts, cherries and syrup into the remaining cake mixture (see tip overleaf). Spoon the mixture on top of the part-cooked cake (once it has had its 11⁄4 hours), evenly distributing the mixture of nuts and cherries across the surface of the cake. Loosely cover the top of the tin with foil.
  • STEP 4Return to the oven for 40 minutes more, then take off the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes, so the nuts can turn golden. Keep an eye on them, so they don’t get too dark. To test the cake mixture is cooked, insert a fine skewer into the cake – if it comes out clean then it’s ready. Cool in the tin then turn out, keeping the lining on, and wrap with foil. (The cake will keep for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen for up to 2 months.)
  • STEP 5To serve, remove the cake from the foil and strip away the lining. Place on a board or serving plate and tie with a decorative ribbon.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Extra fruity Christmas cake

Ingredients

  • 400g currants
  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 100g pitted dates
  • 150g dried apricots
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 175ml brandy or bourbon, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g dark muscovado sugar
  • ½ tbsp treacle
  • 4 large eggs
  • 275g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 100g ground almonds

Method

  • STEP 1Put all the dried fruit, the mixed peel and citrus zests in a large bowl, the pour over the brandy. Stir, cover and leave to soak overnight.
  • STEP 2The next day, heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line the base and side of a deep 23cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, so it comes a few centimetres above the rim.
  • STEP 3Beat the butter, sugar and treacle together in a large bowl using an electric whisk, until pale and creamy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a separate bowl, then stir this into the wet ingredients along with the ground almonds until combined.
  • STEP 4Stir in the rehydrated fruit along with the soaking liquid, then spoon the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 2 hrs 25 mins-2 hrs 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.If the cake starts to darken too quickly, cover with foil.
  • STEP 5Leave to cool completely in the tin, then prick small holes all over the surface using a cocktail stick or skewer and brush over a little brandy. Wrap the cake in baking parchment, then a sheet of foil. Store in an airtight container and feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp brandy each week for three or four weeks, stopping the week before you want to ice it. Will keep in a cool, dry place for six months.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Fruity sponge cake

Ingredients

  • butter or oil, for greasing
  • 50g plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs , separated
  • 175g caster sugar

For the filling

  • 295g can mandarin segment , drained
  • 200g tub low-fat fromage frais
  • icing sugar , for dusting

Method

  • STEP 1Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease then line the base and sides of 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with greaseproof paper. Sieve the flours and baking powder together.
  • STEP 2Use electric hand beaters to whisk the egg whites until stiff, then briefly whisk in the sugar. Beat the egg yolks quickly, then whisk into the whites. Fold in the dry ingredients using a large metal spoon, then spoon the mixture into the tins and level the tops. Bake for 18-20 mins until risen, light golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10 mins, then gently remove and leave to cool completely.
  • STEP 3Mix the mandarins and fromage frais together. Peel away the greaseproof paper, sandwich the cakes with the mandarin mix, then dust with the icing sugar to serve. Best eaten on the day it’s made.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Sloe gin and fruit sponge puddings with custard

Ingredients

  • 100g mixed dried fruit , such as raisins, currants and sultanas
  • 4 tbsp sherry
  • 200g butter , at room temperature, plus extra for the moulds
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • zest of ½ an orange or 1 clementine
  • 150ml sloe gin
  • 6 tbsp apricot jam
  • vanilla custard, to serve

Method

  • STEP 1Soak the dried fruit in the sherry overnight, or for as long as you can – even a 10-min soak will help. Butter six 200ml pudding moulds or dariole moulds.
  • STEP 2Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs, then slowly add them to the butter and sugar using an electric whisk or mixer. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then carefully fold into the egg, butter and sugar mix using a large metal spoon. Drain the fruit and fold into the mix with the mixed spice, orange or clementine zest and 4 tbsp of the sloe gin.
  • STEP 3Mix the jam and the remaining sloe gin, then divide between the moulds. Spoon in the batter, filling the moulds two-thirds full. Fill another mould with any leftover mix. Cover each mould with a large square of foil with a pleat in the centre to allow room, as the sponges will rise a lot. Secure with string. Place the moulds in a baking or roasting dish, then fill the dish with water to come one-third up the side of the moulds. Bake for about 1 hr or until the sponges have risen and are cooked. The puds can now be cooled, then chilled. Reheat the same way they were cooked for 20 mins or until hot.
  • STEP 4To serve, remove the foil. Gently loosen the puddings with a knife and upturn them onto plates. Serve with homemade or bought custard.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Summer fruit drizzle cake

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g fruit , stoned and diced weight
  • 140g granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp citrus juice – lemon, lime or orange
  • 175g very soft butter , plus extra for greasing
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour

Method

  • STEP 1Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line the base and ends with a long strip of baking parchment. Put the butter, caster sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer for 5 mins until pale and creamy – the mixture will be very thick.
  • STEP 2Spread one-third of the cake mix into the tin, then scatter over 50g of the fruit. Carefully dot and spread another third of the cake mix on top, and scatter with another 50g fruit. Finally dot the rest of the cake mix over and gently spread with the back of a spoon. Bake for 1 hr, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • STEP 3Poke the cake all over with a skewer. Put remaining 75g fruit into a bowl with the granulated sugar. Stir in 1 tbsp of the citrus juice first with a fork, mashing a little of the fruit as you go. If it’s a bit dry, add a splash more juice and spoon over the cake. Leave in the tin until the cake is cool and the topping is set and crisp.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Apricot and almond fruit cake

Ingredients

  • 140g golden sultana
  • 4 tbsp sherry
  • 250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground almond
  • 50g toasted flaked almond
  • 140g dried apricot, chopped
  • 140g mixed peel
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • zest and juice 1 orange

Method

  • STEP 1Mix the sultanas and sherry and set aside for 1 hr to soak.
  • STEP 2Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a deep, 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin, and line the base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment that comes about 2.5cm above the sides of the tin. In your largest mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one.
  • STEP 3Stir in the flour, baking powder, and the ground and flaked almonds. Next, add the soaked sultanas with any remaining sherry, the dried apricots, the mixed peel, and all the zest and juice. Scrape into the cake tin, smoothing out the surface.
  • STEP 4Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hr 25 mins. Poke with a skewer in the centre to check it is cooked – if the skewer comes out with any uncooked mixture stuck to it, bake for 10 mins more before checking again. Cool in the tin. Decorated, or wrapped in greaseproof paper and foil, the cake will keep for up to a month.
Categories
2. Fruit Cakes

Light fruit cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp orange flower water
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 140g unsalted butter, softened
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g undyed glacé cherry, halved
  • 100g dried apricot, roughly chopped
  • 100g mixed peel, chopped (we used Sundora)
  • 100g golden sultana
  • 50g shelled pistachio, left whole
  • 50g (3 balls) stem ginger from a jar

Method:

  • STEP 1Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Grease and double-line the base and sides of a deep, 15cm cake tin. Wrap a double layer of greaseproof or brown paper around the outside of the tin, too, then secure with string.
  • STEP 2Using an electric whisk or a tabletop mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Beat in the eggs gradually. In a small bowl, mix the orange flower water with the zest and juice of the orange and lemon. Fold the flour, then dried fruit, pistachioes and ginger into the creamed mix, followed by the juice and zest mix.
  • STEP 3Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 30 mins, then turn oven down to 150C/ fan 130C/gas 2 and bake for another 1 hr 45 mins until risen, golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 15 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • STEP 4The cake will keep well wrapped in a cool place for up to 1 month.