I fancied my hand at making a lighter fruitcake for the easter weekend, one that wouldn’t be as wintery as a traditional christmas cake. I couldn’t find a single recipe that I liked the look of, so this is one I made up. It’s another slow baker but it can come out a bit dry, next time I’d definately soak the dried fruit overnight in brandy. I found the results to be most satisfying, especially over a cup of tea in the afternoon.
175g unsalted butter
250g self raising flour
25g ground almonds
300g mixed dried fruit (better quality raisins are noticably better)
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 tablespoons apricot jam or elderflower jelly to glaze
1 block of marzipan to cover and decorate
Preheat your oven to 160C if it’s a fan, 180 if not.
Prepare your cake tin with a double layer of parchment
Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk for a couple of minutes until they’re pale and light. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest along with the rest of the dry ingredients just until they’re all mixed through. Fold in the dried fruit.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake it for 20 minutes at 160C, before turning it down to 140C for another 60 minutes. Keep checking it every 10 minutes after that to see if it’s cooked. It’s done when the centre springs back when you touch it, or when a skewer comes out clean from the centre.
The edges of the cake will also just start to pull away from the edges of the tin. If it’s shrunk more than a mm or so, then it’s over cooked and you should have done it slower 🙂
Leave it to cool for 20 minutes before turning it out to cool completely
Once it’s cool, roll out the marzipan so that it’s just wide enough to cover the cake. I didn’t quite have enough so mine was too thin. Aim for a good 3 or 4 mm thickness on top.
To stick the marzipan to the cake, take a small saucepan and melt two tablespoons of apricot jam or something similar. I used some of my 2008 vintage elderflower and ginger jelly which worked really well. Once it’s fluid, use a pastry brush to thinly glaze the entire cake.
Then roll over the marzipan, trim the bottom to fit the cake and use any remaining to decorate the top with little balls. I won’t enter into the discussion for how many balls one should have, theologically speaking.