Whole fruit and nut cake
This fruit and nut cake is brilliant at Christmas time, or any time of year!
- ½ cup walnut halves
- ¼ cup pistachio kernels
- ¾ cup whole raw almonds
- ½ cup brazil nuts
- 150 g mixed dried yellow or orange fruit – eg dried pineapple mango, papaya, apricots
- 75 g mixed dried dark red fruit – eg dried cherries or cranberries
- 75 g crystallised ginger
- 75 g green glacé cherries
- ¼ cup whisky
- 1 cup dried dates chopped
- 1 cup sun-dried figs chopped
- ¼ cup water
- 50 g butter softened
- ½ cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup ground almonds
- ½ cup plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves or mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ orange finely grated zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 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.
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.