Rich Whiskey and Spiced Fruit Christ­mas Cake

Dish - - GOODIES TO GIFT -

I love a Christ­mas cake with a twist and this ver­sion has rich, dark co­coa and lots of fra­grant spices. The fruit is pro­cessed, which gives a non-tra­di­tional fin­ish, and the cake is crowned with lash­ings of choco­late ganache and fes­tive top­pings.

FRUIT

10 fresh pit­ted dates 20 pit­ted prunes 20 dried apri­cots

15 moist dried figs, stems trimmed off

zest 1 large or­ange 185 grams but­ter, diced 1 cup brown sugar ¼ cup golden syrup

¾ cup whiskey or al­co­hol of choice

1 ap­ple, grated with skin on ¼ tea­spoon bak­ing soda

CAKE

3 large eggs, size 7, lightly beaten

2 cups plain flour 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der ¼ cup co­coa (I use Val­rhona)

1½ tea­spoons each ground gin­ger, cin­na­mon and car­damom

½ tea­spoon each ground nut­meg and cloves

¼ cup whiskey Pre­heat the oven to 140°C.

Grease a 22cm x 9cm deep square cake tin with cook­ing spray and fully line with a dou­ble layer of bak­ing pa­per, spray­ing be­tween the two lay­ers so they’ll stick to­gether.

FRUIT: Place all the in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the ap­ple and bak­ing soda, in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stir­ring to dis­solve the sugar. Cook for 2 min­utes then take off the heat. Stir in the ap­ple then the bak­ing soda. The mix­ture will foam up. Set aside to cool. Tip into a food pro­ces­sor and blend un­til smooth.

CAKE: Tip the fruit mix­ture into a large bowl and stir in the eggs un­til well com­bined.

Sift the flour, bak­ing pow­der, co­coa and all the spices to­gether and stir into the bat­ter.

Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.

Bake for 2 hours or un­til cooked through and a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. Use a tooth­pick to poke all over the top of the hot cake and im­me­di­ately pour over the ¼ cup of whiskey. Leave to cool com­pletely in the tin.

MAKES 1 CAKE

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