Chocolate and Fig Fruitcake recipe came from Lucy of the Kitchen Maid blog. I first tried a Chocolate Fruitcake on the blog a few years ago. It tasted fantastic but I was disappointed at just how little I could taste the chocolate because it was melted into the batter. Lucy's recipe was full of chunks of chocolate and fancy dried fruit throughout the cake. Just my sort of thing! I finally found time one evening and mixed the cake by hand in front of the telly and got it in the oven by 10pm. Later than I had intended.
On Saturday morning, we got a tree from a nearby church (where sales contributed to the restoration fund) and decorated it. When E had his gardening gloves on to avoid getting resin on his hands when handling the tree, Sylvia used socks on her hands as gloves. However she was most interested in the remote control for the lights settings. She also contributed some sparkly cut-outs for the tree that she had made at nursery. I've talked about our other Christmas decorations before so wont go into detail this year, suffice to day I love the memories attached to each ornament.
Choclette and Chele for We Should Cocoa. The theme this month is oranges. I hope mine host, Choclette, wont mind that the orange is not the star of the show. This cake depends on orange juice, orange zest and some orange chocolate for its depth of flavour.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Pumpkin ravioli and nutroast
This time two years ago: The Witchery - Scottish Fine Dining
This time three years ago: Scones - plain and simple
This time four years ago: Leek Tofu Quiche and Red Pepper Coulis
Chocolate and Fig Fruitcake
Adapted from Peta Mathias via Kitchenmaid
500g dried figs, cut in quarters
200g prunes, cut in quarters
100g dried cranberries
100g dried sour cherries, halved
50g slivered almonds
whisky and juice for soaking fruit
600g dark chocolate, (I used 500g of 70% and 100g of orange chocolate)
50g slivered almonds
300g brown sugar
grated zest of two oranges
2tbsp whisky or brandy or rum
350g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp ground cinnamon
Soak the fruit in a large bowl, covered in a mixture of whisky and orange juice for at about 24 hours, stirring occasionally. There should be enough liquid for quite a bit of sloshing about in the bowl. I checked mine after 12 hours and it had soaked up the liquid (juice of an orange and slurp of whisky) so I added a slurp of pomegranate juice and more whisky (at least 1/4 cup of it). If your fruit doesn't soak up all the liquid, you can drink it or use it for other cooking.
When you are ready to bake the cake, preheat the oven to 160 C and line a cake tin. I lined a 20cm square cake tin with a few layers of old paper bags and some baking paper. (Lucy at Kitchenmaid used a 24cm round cake tin.)
Drain the fruit if there is any soaking liquid that hasn't been absorbed by the fruit. Chop the chocolate into small bits and stir into the fruit with the almonds. Set aside.
Cream the butter, sugar and treacle. (I did this by hand) Beat in eggs one by one and then add orange zest and 2 tbsp of whisky or booze of choice. Gently stir in flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add the fruit mixture and stir to combine. This is a large amount of mixture and you will need a large bowl and a wooden spoon.
Spoon cake mixture into the tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake at 160 C for 90 minutes. The recipe said to turn it down to 150 C but I left it at 160 C for another 90 minutes. I tried the skewer in the cake to test if it was ready. The skewer came out clean after about 2 hours but the middle of the cake still felt a bit soft to touch so I covered it with a few layers of brown paper and left my cake in another hour - so my cake was in about 3 hours all up. It still seemed a bit soft in the middle so I turned off the oven and left the cake in there as it cooled.
Once cool - it took some time because it wasn't even completely cool by the next morning - I removed it from the tin and unwrapped the paper. Then I wrapped the cake in foil and placed it in an airtight container in the cupboard. I left mine wrapped for 2 weeks before cutting it open and it was lovely.
On the stereo:
The Flying Club Cup - Beirut