As much as I really like the previous recipe, the ingredients are expensive and it takes a while to make. So having resorted to bought Christmas cake to get me through, I set out to develop an 'everyday' fruitcake recipe that was really good quality, but relatively simple to make.
Add to that, Maria and I are continuing our long quest to eliminate plastic packaging from food we buy ... so the extra challenge was to get the ingredients without having single use plastic with the ingredients.
Rather than do more Google research I decided on a different plan. I called my dad and asked him to forage through my mum's old recipe books to see if he could find the tried and true recipe that she rolled out whenever there was a cake worthy special occasion. I was so pleased that he managed to find it, and it was a bonus to discover that she'd made a note on the bottom that she'd used this recipe for Maria and my wedding cake. I love the well used stained page ...
In the end I used mum's recipe as the spring board, but ended up adapting it for my preferences and pursuit of ease and simplicity.
We are fortunate to have a local wholefoods store where we do a lot of our food grocery shopping, Apart from the fabulous local service and quality organic produce, without it we would struggle to achieve our plastic packing free ambitions. I turned up there today having determined the ratios of dried fruit I wanted, and had started the tedious process of scoping them into paper bags when ta da .... I spotted a large jar labeled 'fruitcake mix' - code number 618. It made me irrationally happy ... simple just got much simpler.
(for one medium size cake)
- Bliss & Co Fruitcake mix, 500g
- Pitted dates, 100g
- Brandy, 1 cup
- Butter, 100g (room temp)
- Brown sugar, 100g
- eggs, x2
- Plain flour, 100g
- Self raising flour, 25g
- Golden syrup, 1 tbsp
- Marmalade, 1 tbsp (in honour of mum)
- Vanilla essence, 1tsp
- Spices (ground): ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon & mixed spice, 1tsp of each
- Soak the fruit mix and chopped dates in the brandy for a couple of hours or until mostly absorbed
- Cream the butter and sugar
- Beat in the eggs
- add the flour(s), spices, golden syrup, marmalade and vanilla essence and whip until smooth
- Tip in the fruit mix and fold through
- pour the mixture into a lined or greased (shallow) baking tin and bake in a slow oven (100°) for 1 hour 45mins (I followed mum's lead and put the cake in the cold oven.)