I found a lovely recipe on BBC Good Food for a fruitcake, which is something I really love to eat. So I decided to try the recipe and see how it turned out. Quite easy to follow I did make a couple of changes, from the original recipe. For the cake I used caster sugar rather than icing sugar, since I was sure it would mix with the butter easily, and it is not so messy to work with as icing sugar. The other change was that I used ground almonds rather than whole almonds, It makes a slight difference to the texture, since the almonds are finer when ground. But it certainly doesn’t affect the flavour.
The recipe is also quite simple to follow, and doesn’t have too many ingredients. Everything needed was already in my cupboard so I didn’t have to shop at all.
It is quite important to wrap the sides of the cake tin in a couple of layers of paper, since this slows down the process of the tin getting hot, and allows the cake to cook evenly. Without the paper the outside of the cake would cook quickly, and would inhibit rising, so the middle rises higher. It also stops the outside edge from becoming too dry.
The end result is a delightfully fruity cake, which is quite light too. The taste is wonderful and the apricot frosting just adds a little extra to complete a very nice cake.
For the cake:
- 200g butter, softened
- 100g ground almonds
- 200g plain flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs(in US this would be large eggs)
- 700g mixed dried fruits
- 25ml brandy
- 150g butter, softened
- 150g apricot jam
- 275g icing sugar, sifted
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease a deep 20cm/8 inch round cake tin with a little bit of the butter, then line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
- Wrap a couple of sheets of newspaper/brown paper around the outside of the tin, then secure with string.
- Mix the ground almonds and flour together and set aside.
- Beat the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one by one.
- Fold in the flour and almonds, dried fruit and brandy.
- Scrape the mixture into the tin, level the surface and bake for 1 hr 15 mins, until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
- When the cake is completely cold, make the icing quickly by beating the butter, jam and icing sugar until pale.
- Don’t allow the butter to get too warm or overbeat as the icing might split. Swirl all over the cake, then leave in a cool place to set.