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Basic Dessert Recipes: Fruit Cake

A simple fruit cake that needs no rubbing in or creaming.
A great cut-and-come-again cake that keeps well in the baking tin if covered with foil.


Ingredients

14oz (400g) mixed dried fruit
6oz (150g) glace cherries (quartered)
4oz (100g) dates, chopped
4oz (100g) butter
6oz (150g) dark brown soft sugar
Half a tsp. of bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. mixed spice
Half a pint (285ml milk)
12oz (350g) self raising flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, well beaten
tbsp. apricot jam
8oz (225g) ready to roll white icing
9oz (250g) white marzipan
A little icing sugar (sifted)
2-3 drops each of pink and green food colourings



Cooking Instructions


Place the fruits,spice, sugar, milk and bicarbonate of soda into a large pan
Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes
Allow to cool to blood-heat
Sift the flower and salt and stir into mixture with the eggs
Turn into a greased double-lined 8in (20cm) cake tin
Smooth the surface and hollow out center slightly

Heat oven to 325F, Gas Mark 3, 170C and bake cake in the center for 45 minutes then at 300F, Gas Mark 2, 150C for about a further 50 minutes

To see if the cake is cooked a skewer pushed into the middle should come out clean
Cool the cake in its tin then transfer to a wire rack and remove greaseproof paper
Spread top of cake with jam
Using a little icing sifted icing sugar, lightly knead the icing, then roll out to fit just inside cake top
Trim round quarter inch (5mm) from the edge to allow for pink marzipan
Cut marzipan into three pieces. Colour first piece pink and knead thoroughly
Measure circumference of cake with string then roll pink marzipan by hand to the same length
Lift on to cake, pressing neatly to the white icing edge then trim ends and join
Colour second piece green, roll out to the same length. Roll out third piece likewise and twist them together
Lay twist around cake, just inside pink roll then trim ends and join
Tie a ribbon or fix a cake band around cake
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