When I asked my wife what chocolate recipe she’d try this month she instantly and joyfully said the Chocolate Fruit Cake by Nigella Lawson from her recipe book Feast: Food that Celebrates Life. What I didn’t realise was the sheer volume and cost of the ingredients. It took over half an hour to source them in our local supermarket (I plumped for the most cheap locally – Asda) and in total it cost £26.66 with the most expensive item being the Tia Maria. Next time I think it’d be Paul A. Young’s Chocolate Water Biscuits For Cheese Recipe as that shouldn’t hurt my wallet as much.
- £26.66 at Asda – you do have a great deal of the ingredients left over though
- 350g chopped dried soft prunes
- 250g raisins
- 25g currants
- 175ml honey
- 125ml coffee liqueur
- 2 oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa
- 175g softened unsalted butter
- 175g dark muscovado sugar
- 3 free-range eggs, beaten
- 150g plain flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 25g dark chocolate-covered coffee beans
- Edible glitter
- Gold mini balls
- 10 edible gold stars
- But, to be honest, you choose, its your cake
Line the sides and bottom of an 20cm x 9cm round, deep and loose-bottomed cake tin with some of baking parchment. You can do this by cutting strips and then just placing them around – making sure all of the tin is covered.
Place the all of the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, coffee liqueur, orange zest and juice, mixed spice and cocoa into a large saucepan and then heat the mixture to a gentle boil. Make sure you stir the mixture as the butter melts.
What I was surprised about was actually how little cocoa there was in the cake :-(
Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes and then remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to stand for for half an hour.
At this stage its a good idea to preheat the oven. Get it up to to 300°F / 150°C / Gas Mark 2 and then get yourself a glass of bubbly.
After those 30 minutes have elapsed the mixture should have cooled a enough so you can add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and baking soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.
Carefully pour the fruitcake mixture into the cake tin and then place it into to the oven and bake for between 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until the top of the cake firms up but still has shiny and sticky appearance. You should be able to insert a sharp knife into the middle of the cake and should look slightly uncooked in the middle. Then place the cake on a cooling rack and leave to cool properly and slice as required.
To decorate, place the chocolate-covered coffee beans in the centre of the cake and arrange the gold stars around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Then sprinkle some gold mini-balls over the whole cake and sprinkle the top with edible glitter.
And the end result, a gorgeously crisp chocolate fruit cake with a delightful moist centre. Yum!