Time is getting on and the days are getting closer to the big event. This post is one of my favourites to write and thats because it’s about cake. I haven’t gone for a traditional fruit cake this year, but a modern take on the old classic. I made this last Christmas and my family went crazy for it. Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to my boozy fruity chocolate cake!
First things first, I’m going to show you how to line a tin properly so your cake is smooth around the edges when its cooked and on display. For this I use greaseproof paper and a sharp pair of scissors. My tin is a round tin with a loose bottom and is 8″ deep.
Grease the sides and bottom of the tin, then prepare your greaseproof paper. I fold over the bottom third and with a pair of scissors I make small cuts in the paper like the picture below.
Place the paper into the tin using the greased sides to adhere and slide into place. The little cuts will help the paper sit in the right position. A circle of greaseproof cut to size will fit perfectly over the fanned out pieces.
Trim away any excess and voila, you have a perfect double lined tin ready for your cake batter.
The ingredients that you will need are:
350g prunes, chopped
175g soft butter
175g dark muscovado sugar
125ml of black cherry rum, or you can use a coffee based liqueur like Tia Maria
2 oranges, juice and zest
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 eggs, beaten
150g plain flour
75g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees or gas mark 2.
In a wide saucepan place all the fruits, butter, sugar, honey, rum, orange juice and zest, spice and cocoa poder. Pop it on the hob and gently bring it to the boil, stirring the mixture to incorporate all the ingredients untilo the butter melts. Simmer for ten minutes then take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Beat the eggs in a separate dish and add this too the saucepan mixture. Also add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarb, stirring to combine.
Pour your mixture into your lined cake tine and put it in the oven for 1 3/4 – 2 hours. It should look firm yet have a glossy, sticky finish. The cake needs to be slightly gooey inside and a cake skewer inserted into the cake will help you decide!
Leave the cake inside its tin on a wire cooling rack to cool, the still in its paper. wrap it in another layer of paper and then foil and place into an airtight container. As it contains fruit, it has a long life. I make mine two weeks before Christmas.
For my decorations I used chocolate coffee beans and edible gold glitter and stars. These are available from all good baking shops and several garden centres.
Have you made your Christmas cake yet?
*This cake recipe is adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson