Fruit cake

  • Total Time

    4h 55m
    • Prep Time

      25m
    • Bake Time

      4h 30m
  • Serves

    16
  • Skill Level

    Intermediate
  • Dietary Needs

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A traditional light fruit cake with a special blend of spices.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to (150°C 300°F, gas mark 2). Butter a 23cm (9 in) round cake tin and line with a double thickness of buttered greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment.

  2. Soak the apricots in the whisky or brandy for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  3. Cream the butter and sugar with the lemon and orange zest until light and fluffy, then stir in the almonds.

  4. Whisk the eggs until pale and thick, then gradually whisk into the creamed mixture until well mixed.

  5. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and gently fold into the mixture with a metal spoon.

  6. Stir in the orange and lemon juices, soaked apricots, the candied fruits, ginger and the walnuts. Spoon into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.

  7. Bake just below the centre of the oven for 2½ hours, then cover the cake loosely with foil and reduce the heat to 140°C (275°F, gas mark 1) and bake for another 1½-2 hours until cooked through - test with a skewer, which should come out clean.

  8. Cool the cake in the tin, then turn out and wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool but not cold place for up to three weeks.

  9. To make the icing for the decoration, whisk the egg whites until frothy and gradually stir in about 2/3 of the golden icing sugar, beating well.

  10. Beat in the lemon juice and the rest of the icing sugar until the icing is thick and forms soft peaks.

  11. Spoon onto the cold cake and spread roughly over the cake with a palette knife.

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