1 1/4 sticks/10 tbsp. (175gm) unsalted butter
16 oz. (450gm) mixed dried fruit (currants, raisins and sultanas))
Zest and juice from 1 orange
6 oz. (175gm) light muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
7 fluid oz. (200mL) Porter or Guinness Stout
1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs, beaten
10 oz. (300gm) all-purpose flour (plain white flour)
2 tsp. mixed spice (or pumpkin pie spice)
For the Topping:
2 tbsp. sliced almonds
2 tbsp. demerara sugar* (see note below)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 C). Grease and line (with parchment or wax paper) the base of an 8-inch/20cm round deep cake pan.
Put the butter, dried fruit, orange zest and juice, sugar and porter (or Guinness, if using) in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has dissolved, then simmer for 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam up, but don't worry this is just the baking soda doing its work.
2. Stir the beaten eggs into the pan, then sift in the flour and spice and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with sliced almonds and demerara sugar. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
3. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes; then turn out and remove the paper and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Ideally (but not necessary), return to the pan for a couple of days.
*Note: Tubinado sugar, granulated sugar or light brown sugar may be substituted for the Demerara sugar in this recipe.
Makes 12 servings.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2004
Date: February 23, 2003