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What is a Christmas without fruit cake? You get two types of people, those who love fruit cake and those who don’t. Whether it is your favourite or not, when making it, make sure you have a fabulous recipe that includes loads of cherries, nuts, dates, ginger – all the flavours that Christmas is made of.
The secret to making the perfect fruit cake is to start early. You can start as early as November. The cake matures with time. You want nothing less than a moist fruit cake. Remember there is no rush to finish your cake in a few days. A fruit cake can stay in your fridge for a year! You can also freeze your fruit cake by wrapping it in foil.
This recipe makes two fruit cakes.
1 kg of mixed dried fruit
400 g dates
2 ½ cups of sugar
250 g margarine
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons coffee powder
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup of brandy (½ cup inside the batter and ½ cup to soak the cake at the end)
1 cup of Old Brown Sherry (½ cup inside the batter and ½ cup to soak the cake at the end)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pimento (allspice)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 can (440 g) crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon of salt (sifted)
4 cups flour (sifted)
2 teaspoons baking powder (sifted)
250 g red glazed cherries
250 g green glazed cherries
250 g of pecan nuts (optional)
Cover each cake tin with baking paper.
Cook the mixed dried fruit, dates, sugar and margarine together on the stove. Once the mixture is boiling, simmer for about 5 minutes at a low temperature. Allow the mixture to cool down.
Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the lukewarm fruit mixture and mix in.
Dissolve the coffee and cocoa in a ½ cup of boiling water. Add this to the fruit mixture.
Beat the eggs and only once the fruit mixture is completely cooled down, mix the eggs into the fruit mixture.
Add all the dry ingredients.
Add the pineapple, ½ cup of brandy and ½ cup of sherry and lastly add the glazed cherries and nuts.
Divide the mixture into your 2 cake tins and place each cake tin on a paper plate in the oven.
Bake at 140 degrees for 4 hours. After the first hour, place a piece of foil loosely over the tins.
Once your baking process is complete, allow the cakes to cool down until lukewarm and then pour the rest of the brandy and sherry over the cakes.