Saturday, 11 February 2017


The title tells you everything you need to know about this lovely old cake recipe. Yet another gem from our heritage. This recipe is just great as an everyday fruit cake, it improves with age but alternatively can be marzipanned and iced for a special occasion. I think I will use it as a Simnel cake this Easter, with a layer of almond paste through the middle.

6 oz butter
6 oz soft dark brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
8 oz plain flour
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp cinnamon 
3 oz ground almonds
6 oz raisins
6 oz sultanas
3 oz chopped candied peel
120ml stout 
1 tbsp black treacle

In a large bowl, place the dried fruits and peel and pour over the stout and treacle. Mix well, cover and leave overnight.

Pre-heat your fan oven to 130C. Butter and line a deep 7” spring form cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time.
Sift the flour and spices and stir into the mixture. Add the soaked fruit, then lastly the almonds.  The mixture should be a soft dropping consistency, if too stiff, add a little hot water. [Water? or brandy????]

Tip into your prepared cake tin and level the top. 
Bake for about 2 hrs, until just firm to the touch. Cover the top with brown paper half way through.

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.

When cold, peel off the lining paper and store wrapped in parchment in a cake tin for a week to improve the flavour - keep your mitts off it! You know it will taste better in a week!!!!!

PS - confession time now….. my husband lasted 2½ days, before cutting into it!!! Then of course I had to take the photo. It was just wonderful. 

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