There's always one person I turn to when I need a reliable baking recipe, and she has never let me down. Mind you I don't bake as often as I would like otherwise I'd be scoffing cake all the time, and that really isn't very good for my battle against the flobbage around my middle. Which MUST GO.
But Christmas is on it's way and I thought I would make a cake for the family, usually my husband eats most of what I make so a slice or two is in order for me over the festive season.
I chose this cake because I had half a bag of mixed fruit and a pack of marzipan that have been kicking around the pantry for a while. And because if I ever eat fruit cake it has to be home made otherwise it normally tastes like candied cardboard, dry, dry, dry.
This is Nigella's recipe, I did substitute the type of fruit I used for something cheaper and instead of white rum I have used Malibu and left out the orange flower water, because nice as that sounds I wasn't gonna buy it for one teaspoon in a cake. Kirstie Allsopp made a caribbean fruit cake on her tv programme last week so I'm thinking I'm in good company.
100g natural-coloured glace cherries, halved
150g dried pears, chopped
100ml white rum
250g marzipan diced and frozen overnight
50g ground almonds
zest of 1 lemon
175g plain flour
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
20cm springform cake tin, buttered and lined bottom and sides, so that the parchment comes a good 10cms above the rim.
You start by soaking the dried fruits in the rum overnight in a large bowl, and dicing and freezing the marzipan.
When you come to make the cake next day, preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
Beat together almonds, lemon zest, flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Add dried drained fruit, orange- flower water and frozen marzipan. Put cake mix in tin, levelling surface and making a slight dent in the middle to get an even surface when cooked. Bake for 2-2+half hours or until a cake tester comes out clean. Don't overcook as it will continue to cook in it's own warmth as it cools.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin before rewrapping in parchment and foil to store for a week. Feed with little more rum before you wrap for a richer taste. Just puncture top of cake a few times and slowly dribble a few spoons of rum over.
Because I didn't add the flower water I didn't drain off my fruit as there didn't seem to be much excess rum in the bowl.Here is my cake having a little drop of Malibu for it's lunch today. It actually looks a lot lighter than this picture, rather like a blonde cake, and it smells divine.