Men Who Cook: Michael Nightingale with Robin’s Fruit Cake

Michael posted this on another blog and sent me the link.  I asked him if I could repost here:

Robin’s fruit cake – this is my mother’s light fruit cake recipe, which needs to be saved for posterity – having cooked it today it is the easiest thing in the world.

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C – what you lot call 320 degrees.

Take 4 or 5 cups of dried fruit – sultanas mostly, but raisins, dried cherries, glace cherries, prunes, glace apricots and candied ginger are all good.

Put in a big saucepan with a sprinkle of mixed spice or Chinese five spice, and a cup of liquid. You could use water, but brandy, sweet port or muscat is better.

Put on a high heat and pretty much boil for about five to ten minutes – the fruit gets puffier and sometimes a bit candied if that’s what you want.

Take it off the heat and mix in 250 grams of butter – one stick of butter – till it melts, then stir in 1 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla till dissolved, 4 eggs till combined, and then 1 cup of plain flour mixed with a teaspoon of baking powder.

Grease a cake tin – probably about 7 inches by 7 – stick some baking paper to the sides, then pour in the cake mix. It will rise about half as much as the cake mix is deep. Put it in the oven and leave it alone for 25 minutes, then sprinkle some dried fruit or nuts if you want on the top (I used dried peaches), then cook for another 35 to 55 minutes. If it gets too dark in the last 20 minutes, put some more baking paper over it.

Take out of the oven and immediately pour a third of a cup of the brandy or whatever over it, listen to it sizzle, and then try to resist eating any until it has cooled down a little.

Never fails.

Sounds yummy, mate.

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