Having been rather busy this week making a ‘Baby Bottom’ cake for a friend, I only realised on Wednesday that we didn’t have any cake in the house. I had on numerous occasions seem both my husband and children opening the cake tins to see what was in there, only to be disappointed with finding an empty tin.
I haven’t baked a fruit cake for a while and noticed from my list that I have two cakes to bake from the ‘Fruit & Nut Section’ to bring the total down to 3 recipes. Having bought some buttermilk the other week whilst shopping, I noticed it still had a few days left before its ‘best before’ ran out, so I was pleased to see that this recipe needed 150ml. It also required wholemeal self-raising flour, another item I had purchased the other week, only to find I already had an unopened bag in the back of my baking cupboard!!
As usual the first thing I did was put my oven on to preheat at 120°C. It was then time for a rummage in my ever-increasing cake tin cupboard to find a 23cm (9″) deep round tin. I didn’t have one, surprise, surprise. Instead I had to use a 20cm (8″) round tin. I could have gone out and purchased another tin, but decided that I really do have enough tins of all shapes and sizes now, so it would have to be a case of making do with what I already had. The tin was lightly greased and then the base and sides were lined with a double layer of baking parchment.
It was quite an easy recipe to make as it was another one of Mary’s all-in-one recipes.
A word of warning for all you bakers out there whatever size bowl you decide to mix the ingredients up in should you choose to give this recipe a go, pick the next size up! I ended up having to tip the mixture into another bowl halfway through as my large bowl (which is normally large enough for most recipes) was almost overflowing. If I’d carried on and mixed it in this bowl I think half of it would have ended up over the work surface or floor!
In to the bowl went 200g softened butter, 350g light muscovado sugar, 3 large eggs, 450g wholemeal self-raising flour, 150ml buttermilk, 350g sultanas and 350g currants. I was quite surprised how quickly the mixture came together and after beating it for around two minutes it was smooth and glossy. It was then a case of spooning it into the tin and levelling the surface. Before it went into the oven you had to sprinkle the top with 50g flaked almonds. I had slightly less than 50g and thought it actually covered the cake reasonably well.
It went into the oven to bake for approximately 3-3.5 hours. I was a bit uncertain as to how long my cake would take as it was obviously deeper than it should have been as it was in a smaller tin. In all it took just over 3.5 hours. I started checking it at 3 hours, but my skewer kept came out sticky, so I gave it another ten minutes and then another 10. Eventually it was done. The cake had to be left to cool in the tin before removing. Mary does state to keep the parchment on the cake as this will keep it moist.
It wasn’t until the next day that we tasted the cake. It was delicious, my husband said it was one of the best fruit cakes he had ever had. I think the light muscovado sugar in it gives it a slight caramel flavour. Colourwise I was slightly disappointed, Mary does state that the cake goes quite dark when baked due to the wholemeal flour. My cake didn’t look at all dark compared to the photograph in the book. Mary’s cake is almost black in colour.
I’ll definitly make this again, it was quick and easy to mix up and it certainly didn’t stay around for long in our house!