Adding to my Edible Gift Ideas for Men round up, here is my Fruit Cake recipe. I don’t think you can go wrong with Fruit Cake as a gift. I love it, hubby loves it and both our Fathers love it! I gave one to my Dad for Father’s Day. My cousin Ross, swears that the best accompaniment is a piece of cheddar cheese…I’ve tried it out and it’s a pretty good combo!
This recipe is based on one from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander (affiliate link). My copy is well loved and covered with food stains and penciled in notes. The fruit combination can be changed up to suit what you have on hand or if you want to take out something you don’t like. The original recipe includes mixed peel, but as my Dad isn’t a fan, I leave it out of the recipe.
The cake is best made a few weeks in advance as it allows time for the flavours to develop. To store, simply wrap in a layer of cling wrap and then foil. I’ve read that when drizzled with spirits at the end (as directed), the cake will keep for years, though mine have never stuck around long enough to find out.
When gifting the cake, I put it on a plate (paper or ceramic) and then wrap with cellophane and tie with a bow.
This recipe will make 1 x 9″ cake, or 2 x 6″ cakes, or 3 x 5″ cakes, or 2 x 10″ x 4″ loaf cakes. Cooking times will vary. An indication is included in the recipe.
Dad’s Favourite Fruit Cake
120g/4oz dried apricots, chopped
60g/2oz prunes, stoned and chopped
60g/2oz glace cherries
140ml/5oz spirits (100ml/4oz plus 40ml/1oz) such as brandy, rum or whisky
250g/9oz brown sugar
225g/8oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp treacle or golden syrup
120g/4oz slivered almonds
whole blanched almonds to decorate
Put all the dried fruit into a glass or ceramic bowl and pour over 100ml of spirits. Leave to soak at least over night. This can also be done a few days ahead. Just leave in a cool dark place and give it a stir every day.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Grease your tin with 20g (1oz) of the butter and line with a double thickness of baking paper. You can also use brown paper.
Cream butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. While it is creaming, sift flour, baking powder and spices together. Add eggs and flour mix alternately to the butter and sugar, mixing gently. Then fold in the dried fruit, treacle and slivered almonds. Mix until evenly combined.
Put mixture into tin, dividing evenly over tins if you are using more than one. Flatten mix with the back of a spoon and push a slight hollow into the middle to allow for rising. Arrange whole blanched almonds in a pattern on top of the mix.
For a single cake, bake in the oven for about 3 hours. For 2 cakes, about 2.5 hours. For smaller cakes, check after 2 hours. Insert a skewer into the cake and if it doesn’t come out clean, reduce the heat of the oven to 110°C (230°F). Check again after 15 mins.
When cooked, remove from the oven and immediately brush the remaining spirit over the top. Allow to cool completely in the tin. When cold, turn out and wrap cake in cling wrap and foil to store.
Thanks to everyone who linked up their own ideas to the Edible Gifts for Men and Boys round up. My favourite idea is these Wafeltjes from Jillian who blogs over at Jillian in Italy. I love waffles and these buttery waffle cookies sound pretty amazing! Off I go to dig out the waffle iron!