TO PREPARE THE CAKE
PREP TIME: 30 mins BAKE TIME: 2 hours
Empty 1 sachet of mixed fruits, 100g (1/2 tub) of the glacé cherries and 100g (1/2 tub) of mixed peels into a large mixing bowl and pour over 150ml of apple juice. Orange juice, or alcohol of your choice will work equally well.
Give the mixture a good stir to make sure all the fruit is coated, then place to one side.
Add 125g butter, the contents of one of the twin sachets of black treacle, and 125g of dark brown sugar to a medium sized saucepan, and gently warm over a low heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set to one side to cool slightly, whilst you pre-heat your oven and prepare your baking tin.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C (150°C for a fan oven), 340°F, Gas Mark 3 and prepare your tin by lightly greasing with butter or oil, and lining with grease proof paper.
Pour the sugar and butter mixture over the fruit and stir well to ensure all the fruits are coated.
Sprinkle over 200g (1/2 sachet) of the spiced flour mix and stir again, until the fruit is coated in flour.
Finally, add 3 medium sized eggs to the mixture, and stir well until all of the ingredients are well mixed.
Place the cake mixture into your cake tin, and level the surface with the back of the spoon to ensure an even surface during baking.
Loosely cover the top of the cake with an additional sheet of grease proof paper, and hold in place by tying with string around the edge of the cake tin. This will avoid the surface of the cake burning during baking. Place the cake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, carefully remove the greaseproof paper from the top of the cake and pop back in the oven for 10 – 20 minutes to finish cooking the top of the cake.
To test if the cake is done, insert a cake skewer or sharp knife – if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If not, continue to bake for longer – checking again after every 10 minutes or so.
Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 30 minutes, before removing and allowing to cool completely on a cooling rack.
If you are using alcohol in your cake, now is a perfect time to top it up – simply pierce the surface of the cake several times with a cocktail stick or fork, and carefully spoon over the alcohol.