My favourite plum cake recipe for Christmas!
I personally start preparing my cake fruits much in advance, prefer soaking it at around thanksgivings and start the baking process of my batches after 10/12 days, I also resoak it for a week in a good dark rum before xmas. These cakes make a lovely gift with a festive touch for a good personalised Christmas gift sometimes a part of you Specially put together Hamper!
250 gm sultanas
250 gm raisins
125 gm dates or prunes
125 gm apricots seeded & chopped
125 gm candied fruit, chopped
150 ml dark rum, plus 250 ml to soak
Zest of orange peel and juice of 2 oranges
175 g dark demerera sugar
175 g softened butter, plus extra butter to grease
4 big eggs, beaten
125 g self-raising flour
1 tsp. mixed spice
½ level tsp cinnamon
75 gm dark 85% chocolate, finely grated ( optional )
125 gm flaked almonds, lightly toasted
* Put the dried and candied fruit in a pan with the rum, orange zest and juice. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat, cover and leave to soak overnight .
* I personally prefer soaking it at around thanks giving & bake my batches after 10/12 days &soak it for a week before xmas )
* Preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan) .
* Grease and line a (8in) cake tin with greaseproof paper. Put the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer for about 5min until fluffy.
* Add the eggs a little at a time, taking care the mixture doesn't curdle. If it looks as though it might, add a little of the flour. Gently fold the soaked fruit and the remaining ingredients into the mixture. Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface.
* Wrap a thick layer of brown paper around the tin to prevent the edges of the cake burning. Bake for 3-3½hr until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10min. Keeping it in its greaseproof paper, turn out on to a rack. When cool, wrap in clingfilm and then foil. Store in an airtight container.
* After two weeks of maturing, prick the cake all over with a skewer, pour 1tbsp dark rum on top, leave it to soak in, then rewrap as before. The cake will keep for up to three months.
wrap them in clear Xmas cellophane wrap, with xmas trinkets to finish the presentation!