Fracatelli’s Fruit Cake
Have you watched the TV series Victoria? Her chef was Italian, Charles Fracatelli and he was supposed to be the man who invented Coronation Chicken. He produced a cook book, scaled down for ordinary households and this is, more or less, his Fruit Cake recipe. The addition of ground almonds makes it very moist, along with all those citrus flavours. As with most rich fruit cakes, it needs to be made and kept, feeding generously for many weeks to appreciate it at its best. [we ate the above after a week or two and it was absolutely lovely]
You will need a spring form 10 inch cake tin, greased, double lined and with at least two layers of thick brown paper tied around the outside. Pre heat your fan oven to 130C.
12 oz softened butter
8 oz caster sugar
4 beaten large eggs
12 oz plain flour
½ teaspoonful of ground nutmeg and cinnamon
¼ teaspoonful ground cloves
grated zest of 2 large oranges and 1 large lemon
1 lb currants
8 oz sultanas
6 oz glacé cherries quartered
6 oz mixed peel, finely chopped
4 oz ground almonds
8 tablespoonfuls brandy
2 tablespoonfuls orange flower water
The Creaming Method, of course. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, whisk in the eggs, one at a time along with a little flour. Add the zests and then the fruit, flour, ground almonds, orange flower water and brandy. If the mixture is too stiff add a little more liquid, either more brandy or orange juice.
Tip into your prepared tin and level off, making a small indent as usual. Bake for 1 hour. Then turn the oven down to 120C and bake for a further 1½ hours, maybe a little longer, until a fine knitting needle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for at least an hour then turn out onto a rack.
When cold, turn it upside down and insert a fine knitting needle into the cake at least 20 times. Pour a mixture of brandy and orange flower water all over and allow to soak in. Repeat weekly until ready to use.
Oh My!! Another lovely recipe from my old dear friend Atty. I wonder how she got it?
Note: Have you made your Xmas cake yet? I have and mine is nicely tucked away after being fed with brandy. Get cracking.