Grand Fruit Cake
|Butter||12 Ounce, softened (375 Gram)|
|Caster sugar||8 Ounce (250 Gram)|
|Eggs||4 , beaten|
|Plain flour||12 Ounce|
|Ground nutmeg||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Ground cinnamon||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Ground cloves||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
|Finely grated orange rind||2|
|Finely grated lemon rind||1|
|Currants||1 Pound (500 Gram)|
|Sultanas||6 Ounce (185 Gram)|
|Mixed peel||6 Ounce, chopped (185 Gram)|
|Glaced cherries||4 Ounce, chopped (125 Gram)|
|Ground almonds||4 Ounce (125 Gram)|
|Orange flower water||2 Tablespoon|
Grease and double-line one 25 cm/10 inch tin.
Wrap two layers of brown paper around the outside rising well above the cake tin.
Tie with string.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the beaten eggs, with a tablespoon of the flour if the mixture begins to curdle.
Sift the flour with the spices and fold in, then add the fruit rind, the dried fruits, the ground almonds and the orange-flower water and brandy.
The mixture should be a stiffish dropping consistency; adjust with extra liquid, if necessary.
Turn into the prepared tin, make a slight depression in the top so that the finished cake has a flat surface, bake at 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2 for 1 hour, then turn the oven down to l40°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1 and bake for a further 1 1/2-2 hours.
It is done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the cake does not 'sing' when held close to the ear.
Cool in the tin before turning out.
Once the cake is cool, remove the papers and skewer it fairly thoroughly from top to bottom.
Line the cleaned baking-tin with fresh greaseproof paper and replace the cake.
Spoon on the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of soaking liquid per 500 g/1 lb of cake, and use the back of a spoon to encourage the liquid to soak in.
I turn the cake over every 4 or 5 days and repeat the operation in reverse.
It is amazing how much liquid this cake can take, and this all helps both its keeping qualities and moisture content.
My favourite mixture is of Cognac and orange-flower water to enhance what is already there, or half Cognac and half of any orange liqueur; I find the sharp but less commonly found Triple Sec gives the best results.
Home-made marzipan, again flavoured with orange-flower water, should be used to cover the cake and when that is dry use Royal icing to complete it.
You can now buy ready-made icing that you roll out and apply, then smooth down with the palms of the hands (slightly damp).