Start by dicing the fruits. Place fruit, butter, sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat and then simmer for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile sieve the dry ingredients, lightly beat the eggs and prepare a 7 inch cake pan by lining the outside with aluminium foil and inside with a parchment paper ring. Set this aside.
Once the boiled fruit mixture is cooled. add lightly whisked eggs, golden syrup, lemon and orange zest. Fold gently. Then add the sieved dry ingredients and mix to form a cake batter.
Transfer it to the prepared pan and smoothen the top.
In your preheated oven of 150°C, place an inverted cookie tray. Place the cake pan on top of this tray in the center of the oven. Bake for 65 to 80 mins or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. It took me 70 mins.
Let it cool in the tin for 10 mins and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
Once cooled glaze with apricot glaze and sprinkle with nut and seed mixture or keep it plain.
List of Fruits used in the fruit cake:
125 gms Diced Dates
125 gms Cranberries
60 gms Dried Apricot, diced
252 gms Mixed Fruit for Fruit Cake (a readymade pack made exclusively for making fruit cakes from the market)
The actual recipe calls for 125 gms Currants in place of Cranberries and 190 gms Sultanas and 62 gms Mixed Peel. But with lockdown in place I used the ones that were available. Feel free to adjust it as per your liking.How to make Apricot Glaze:Bring the jam and water to boil or mix until homogenous. Use it on a cooled cake.Notes:
To make alcoholic fruit cake, substitute 50% water with brandy. So use 65 gms water and 65 gms brandy in the above recipe.
First and foremost, dice your fruits. Adding it whole would cause it to sink and it won't look good.
Also chopping the dried fruits yourself helps to retain the natural moistness in it. Store bought diced fruits are often drier. So dice the fruits yourself before making the cake.
Boiling the fruits cause the fruits to soak up the liquid and turn soft and plumpy which makes the cake moist once baked.
Boiled Fruit Cake or Christmas Cake is all about the aroma first and then the taste. Hence it is important that you do not boil the fruits along with the spices and zest; rather fold it in the end to keep it aromatic and zesty.
Do not be tempted to over-mix the batter. Just stop when you see no dry bits of flour in the batter. The batter may appear lumpy but it is ok.
Baking the fruit cake in the cheesecake pan just makes it easier to unmould.
Since the cake is loaded with fruits and is a dense cake, it needs ample time to cool down so do not be in a rush to slice it. Allow to cool for couple of hours before slicing.