Chunky fig, apricot and prune cake
This moist, lightly spiced, fruit-packed cake, devised by Nikki Duffy, is a bit different from your average fruit cake, with its citrussy aromatics and slightly chunkier dried fruit. A thick slice is fantastic with morning tea or coffee, and a wedge wrapped in greaseproof paper is perfect in a lunchbox. It will keep well in a tin for a week or more. Should you find, as can be the case with fruit cakes, that your fruit sinks, it probably means the cake batter isn t stiff enough. Make sure you stick to the quantities in the recipe, and fold the fruit in as lightly as you can. But don t worry too much a fruit-on-the-bottom cake is no great tragedy.
Prep 30mins Servs 12
Lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line with baking parchment. Put the flour, baking powder, salt and spice into a bowl and whisk lightly to aerate and combine.
Use kitchen scissors to cut the dried fruit into chunky pieces – cut each fig into about 6, removing the hard stalk, and each prune and apricot into 2 or 3. Combine them in a bowl. Beat the marmalade with a fork to loosen it, then stir in the lemon and orange zest. Combine the marmalade with the dried fruit.
Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat well until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour/spice mix with each. Fold in the remaining flour with a large metal spoon, then fold in the marmalade and dried fruit as lightly as you can. Try not to overmix it; everything should be just combined.
Spoon into the prepared tin and place in an oven preheated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Bake for 1.30 hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
Hot fruit cake with vanilla ice cream
You can make a very lovely pud with this, or any other fruit-laden cake, by gently frying thick slices of the cake in a little butter for a couple of minutes on each side, until thoroughly warmed through. Dish up each slice with a scoop of the best vanilla ice cream.
- 225g light wholemeal cake flour or spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 rounded teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 150g dried figs
- 150g stoned prunes
- 150g dried apricots
- 85g orange marmalade
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g light muscovado sugar
- 4 medium eggs
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Cakes and Sweet Pastry
Have your cake and eat it too, with a day of baking skills and sweet pastry lessons from the River Cottage experts.