My Dad loves a good fruit cake, but not the heavy Christmas Cake kind. So at this time of year I make a lighter version for him; less fruit, less eggs, no raising agent and a smaller tin (because he’ll eat the whole thing himself)! This has got all the bits he likes, ginger, spices and loads of fruit.
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
140g unsalted butter, softened
140g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
100g golden sultanas
100g brazil nuts, roughly chopped
50g crystalised ginger
1 tsp mixed spiced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Soak all the dried fruit in the rum (or tea or apple juice) over night.
The next day add the brazil nuts and ginger.
Grease and double-line the base and sides of a deep, 15cm cake tin. Wrap a double layer of greaseproof or brown paper around the outside of the tin, too, then secure with string (with a pretty bow).
Heat oven to 160C
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Beat in the eggs gradually. In a small bowl mix the zest and juice of the orange and lemon.
Fold the flour and spices, then dried fruit, nuts and ginger into the creamed mix, followed by the juice and zest mix.
Spoon the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 30 mins, then turn oven down to 150C and bake for another 1 hr 45 mins until risen, golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool for 15 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cake will keep well wrapped in a cool place for up to 1 month.
Happy Christmas Daddy!