Boiling the fruit is the secret to the mature flavour of thisw onderful cake, which originally came from New Plymouth’s Betty Warner.
1¼-1½kg mixed fruit
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup water
½-1 cup brandy, rum or whisky
1-1½ tablespoons treacle
1-1½ tablespoons marmalade
5 or 6 eggs, slightly beaten
1¾ cups plain flour
1/3 cup self-raising flour
½-1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each: ground cinnamon, nutmeg (or allspice) and mixed spice
- Heat oven to 150°C. Line a 22cm cake tin with 3 layers of baking paper.
- Place fruit, butter, brown sugar, water and brandy, rum or whisky in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Add treacle, marmalade and eggs to pan and mix well.
- Sift dry ingredients together then stir into fruit mixture.
- Spread in prepared tin and bake for 2½ hours or until a skewer comes out clean. Cover with foil and leave to cool in the tin.
BRANDY BUTTER ICING
This butter cream icing, a classic recipe from the Edmonds Cookery Book, is especially delicious on Christmas fruit cakes – with or without a layer of almond icing underneath. A small dob of it is also nice to top off a Christmas mince tart, instead of a pastry lid.
175g butter, softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1Beat butter until smooth. Add icing sugar, brandy and vanilla and beat until light and creamy.
- This recipe makes enough to cover a large cake generously, all over. The icing will keep well if stored in a cool place (3-4 weeks in the fridge).