Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cardamom Fruit Cake

It's that time of the year again, where a wonderful array of fruit cakes are being made and readied for the festive period. Here's a little recipe that I came up with this week. It's spiced with cardamom as well as mixed spice and the icing is flavoured with orange, lemon and vanilla. Add in some plump fruit and the syrupy almost nutty flavour from the sherry and despite it's modest size, I think you end up with a real big hitter of a fruit cake!

Prep time: 20 Minutes
Baking time: 50 Minutes
200g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
200g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1tbsp Sherry
1.5tsp Mixed Spice
The seeds from 10 cardamom pods (Crushed to a powder)
225g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
350g Mixed Dried Fruit (The nicest you can get)

For the icing
100g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
1/2tsp Orange Extract
1/2tsp Lemon Extract
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
200g Icing Sugar

This one is pretty straightforward, so let's get to it! Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 20cm deep loose bottomed tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sherry, mixed spice and cardamom to the mixture, then sift in the plain flour with the baking powder and mix to a smooth batter. Fold through the fruit until evenly combined, then spoon into the prepared tin, level out and bake in the centre of the oven for around 50 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the centre of the cake. When you're happy that it's done take the cake out of the oven, leave in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin. Peel off the paper from the base and leave the cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool you can ice it. In a large bowl beat the butter until soft. Add the extracts, then sift in the icing sugar and mix until smooth. Using a palette knife or the back of the spoon spread the icing all over the top of the cake. Time to slice it and eat it!

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