Boiled Fruit Cake
A recipe from the Good Food collection.
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Boiled Fruit Cake
- Place the raisins, sultanas, currants, glacé cherries, almonds, sugar, butter, brandy and 1 cup (250 ml) water in a large saucepan. Bring the fruit mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar has totally dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to warm 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3). Brush a 20 cm round or 18 cm square cake tin with melted butter or oil and cut a double layer of baking paper into a strip long enough to fit around the outside of the tin and tall enough to come 5 cm above the edge. Fold a cuff 2 cm deep along the length of the strip and make diagonal cuts about 1 cm apart up to the fold line on each strip. Fit the strip around the inside of the tin, with the cuts on the base, pressing the cuts out at right angles so that they sit flat around the base. Cut a double layer of baking paper to fit into the base of the tin and sit it in the tin, over the cuts.
- Add the eggs to the fruit, then sift in the flours and spice. Mix together, working quickly and lightly, but don't overmix. Spoon into the tin, tap the tin on the bench to remove any air bubbles, then smooth the surface with wet fingers. To prevent the cake burning, fold over several sheets of newspaper long enough to wrap around the side of the cake tin and to come a little higher than the baking paper. Tie the strips securely around the tin, and sit the tin on several more layers of newspaper in the oven.
- Bake for 1½–2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin, covered with a clean tea towel, then turn out. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic for 2–3 months.
Note: If you want to ice the cake, you will need 1 kg ready-made almond icing and 1 kg ready-made soft icing. Turn the cake over so you can use the flat base as the top. Knead the almond icing on a clean work surface, dusted with icing sugar, until it is pliable. Gently warm 2 tablespoons of apricot jam with 1 teaspoon water in a small saucepan. Strain, then brush the cake with the jam. Roll out the almond icing until it is large enough to just cover the cake. Roll the icing over a rolling pin, then carefully fit it over the cake. Smooth the base and side to remove any wrinkles. Trim the icing around the base of the cake and leave overnight in a cool, dry place. Lightly beat 1 egg white and brush a thin layer over the almond icing.
Knead the soft icing on a work surface dusted with icing sugar until it is pliable. Roll out the icing and cover the cake using the same method as for the almond icing. Dust your hands with icing sugar and smooth out any wrinkles. Trim the icing around the base and leave the cake in a cool place overnight. The cake is now ready to be decorated.