It has a spicy Indian twist from soaking the dried fruits in a cocktail of orange juice and masala tea overnight. Soaking the fruit helps to make the cake rich and luscious. If you don't fancy the idea of using tea, then you could soak your fruit in cognac, whisky or simply the juice of a couple of oranges. Pop the fruit in a bowl, pour over the juice/tea/alcohol and cover with a clean cloth, stirring occasionally to make sure the fruit gets nice and plump.
- 250g currants
- 500g sultanas
- 200g glace cherries
- zest and juice of 3 oranges
- zest of 1 lemon
- 4 medium eggs
- 225g self raising flour
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp mixed spice
- 25g ground almonds
- 1 desert spoon treacle
1) The day before you make your cake, add the lemon and orange zest to your dried fruits, then pour over the orange juice and a half a mug of masala tea and leave to soak overnight.
2) Grease and double line an 18cm (8 inch) square / 20cm (9 inch) round cake tin with unbleached baking parchment.
3) Pre-heat your oven to 140 degrees C / 275 degrees F / Gas Mark 1
4) Start by beating the butter and sugar until the mixture looks light and fluffy and quite pale - I used my lovely Kenwood Chef so this couldn't be easier.
5) Beat your eggs gently in a small bowl, then slowly add into the butter/cream mixture a little at a time, beating well with each addition. If it looks like it's going to curdle, add a spoonful of flour.
6) Sift the flour and spices together and either gently fold into the mixture, or simply add into the Kenwood mixer bowl and beat gently.
7) Add the soaked fruits and mix well.
8) Add in the ground almonds and treacle.
9) Mix gently, keeping the mixture as airy as possible, scrape the sides of your bowl to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated thoroughly.
10) Pour the cake mix into the prepared tin. Create a small well in the centre of the mixture to allow the cake to rise a little in the middle. This should mean you will have a nice flat cake.
11) Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 3 hours. To check it's ready, pop a clean skewer into the middle of the cake, if it come out clean, the cake is done.
To store you cake, remove the baking parchment and wrap in a layer of greaseproof paper, then a layer of foil and store in an air tight box. Et voila!
Let me know how you get on!