A fab­u­lous cake the whole fam­ily can en­joy. Sticky fruits and aro­matic spices com­bine to give the rich fes­tive flavours we love at Christ­mas time.


¾ cup rum or other al­co­hol of choice, or use or­ange juice

1 cup raisins 1 cup golden sul­tanas ½ cup sliced dried apri­cots ½ cup dried cran­ber­ries

10 fresh dates, roughly chopped

1 ta­ble­spoon ground gin­ger 2 tea­spoons ground cin­na­mon

1 tea­spoon each ground nut­meg and mixed spice

finely grated zest 1 lemon and 1 or­ange

2 tea­spoons vanilla paste


150 grams but­ter at room tem­per­a­ture

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large, very ripe ba­nana, mashed

3 large eggs, size 7, lightly beaten

1¼ cups plain gluten-free flour ½ tea­spoon xan­tham gum* ½ tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der


¼ cup ex­tra rum or other al­co­hol, op­tional Pre­heat the oven to 150°C.

Grease a 20cm spring­form cake tin. Fully line with a dou­ble layer of bak­ing pa­per, greas­ing be­tween the two lay­ers so they will stick to­gether.

FRUIT: Place all the in­gre­di­ents in a medium saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally un­til all the liq­uid has been ab­sorbed. Set aside to cool.

CAKE: Beat the but­ter and brown sugar to­gether for 5 min­utes. Beat in the ba­nana then grad­u­ally beat in the eggs un­til well mixed.

Stir in the cooled fruit mix­ture. Com­bine all the re­main­ing cake in­gre­di­ents in a bowl. Add to the bat­ter and, us­ing a large metal spoon, gen­tly but thor­oughly fold to­gether, mak­ing sure there are no pock­ets of flour in the bat­ter or around the fruit.

Trans­fer to the tin and smooth the top then form a 1cm shal­low hol­low in the cen­tre of the cake so it will rise to form a flat top.

Bake the cake in the cen­tre of the oven for 2 hours or un­til a skewer in­serted into the mid­dle comes out clean. Use a tooth­pick to poke all over the top of the hot cake and im­me­di­ately pour over the ¼ cup of rum. Leave to cool com­pletely in the tin. MAKES 1 CAKE

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