There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those people who like fruit cake at Christmas and those who don’t. I love fruit cake. And I always make a few cakes in the lead up to Christmas. They generally have at least 250g butter in each cake and taste rich and delicious. This year though I’m still focused on staying on track with my weight loss and watching those numbers go down on the scales. Just 3 kgs to go for me and I don’t want all my hard work to go out the window just because it’s the festive season.
So if you’re like me and looking for a festive fruit cake that’s a little different then I think you’ll like this one. You don’t have to make it months in advance either. A little tip from me to you. Whenever you’re making a fruit cake at Christmas, pour over brandy when it’s hot out of the oven. In terms of how much to pour over I just do a good slosh or two over it for the first time when it’s hot and then just about 2 tablespoons another time. The brandy gives it a really festive Christmasy taste and smell and if your cake is a little too dry or overcooked that brandy is going to help it out. A caring little gesture for your cake. Just don’t burn your cake. Brandy won’t undo burnt cake!
You can also soak your dried fruit in brandy ahead of time. I’ve had this fruit set aside for 2 weeks in a bit of brandy. It looks much nicer than when it came out of the pack. Now this won’t keep the same way a really dense boiled or traditional fruit cake would. But to tell you the truth it’s not going to last long anyway. I mean, is it? I’d keep it for a week in a good old tupperware container or a tin but I expect this will be gone by the 2nd or 3rd day in our house.
- 125g butter
- 1 cup caster sugar (I made mine from raw sugar in the thermomix)
- ¼ cup apple juice concentrate
- 500g mixed dried fruit (I soaked mine in brandy for 2 weeks beforehand)
- 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Melt butter with sugar and apple juice concentrate over a low heat in a saucepan. Take off the heat and add in the pumpkin and cinnamon/mixed spice and then the dried fruit.
- Tip this delicious mixture into a big large mixing bowl and leave to cool about 10-15 minutes.
- Add in the beaten eggs and stir well. Then sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix it really well as you don't want to find any pockets of flour.
- Line a square baking tin - I did 2 layers of paper - and bake in a preheated 170C/340F oven for at least 50 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven and if you want to use Brandy then pour about ¼ cup over the cake. Leave to cool in the tin.
- If you're like me and cant wait for it to cool slice with a big bread knife (serrated edge) and enjoy it warm.