Whole fruit and nut cake
This fruit and nut cake is brilliant at Christmas time, or any time of year!
Fruit and nut cake is a simple way to share the special taste of the festive season. It’s great as a gift too, wrap it in waxed baking paper and tie with nice string. You can also cut it into thick slabs and give as a gift like that. It’s so handy to have in the pantry over the festive season for when guests stop by.
I haven’t iced this cake, but you could add an almond icing if you like it that way.
Serve this cake with a cup of tea for a delicious and Christmassy afternoon tea.
- walnut halves 1/2 cup
- pistachio kernels 1/4 cup
- whole raw almonds 3/4 cup
- brazil nuts 1/2 cup
- mixed dried yellow or orange fruit – eg dried pineapple, mango, papaya, apricots 150 grams
- mixed dried dark red fruit – eg dried cherries or cranberries 75 grams
- crystallised ginger 75 grams
- green glacé cherries 75 grams
- whisky 1/4 cup
- dried dates, chopped 1 cup
- sun-dried figs, chopped 1 cup
- water 1/4 cup
- butter, softened 50 grams
- firmly packed soft brown sugar 1/2 cup
- egg 1
- ground almonds 1/4 cup
- plain flour 1/2 cup
- baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
- ground cloves or mixed spice 1/4 teaspoon
- ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
- orange, finely grated zest and juice 1/2,
- vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
- Preheat the oven to 150⁰C fanbake. Grease a large loaf tin (about 22cm x 12cm x 7cm).
- In a large bowl, soak nuts, dried fruit, ginger and glacé cherries in the whisky.
- Place dates, figs and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil while stirring to break up the fruit. Keep stirring until you have a paste. Stir paste into the bowl containing the soaked fruit and nuts.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Whisk in the egg and mix until light and smooth. Stir in the ground almonds.
- Sift flour, baking powder, spices and a large pinch of salt together and fold into the cake mixture with the orange zest and juice and the vanilla extract. Fold in the bowl of nut and fruit mix.
- Sprinkle a little flour around the greased loaf tin, then shake out the excess. Spoon the cake mixture into the tin and smooth out so it is evenly filled. Bake for 1-1½ hours. The cake may cook quickly, depending on your oven, so check cake after 1 hour. When the top of the cake is slightly split, it is ready.
- Remove from oven and leave cake in the tin for at least 30 minutes, then loosen the sides with a round-ended knife and turn out onto a rack.
- You can find dried cherries in the bulk food aisle of the supermarket or local food store.
- Use a serrated knife to slice cake into four thick slices. Wrap in waxed paper and package for gifts.