There are so many options... a medium cake and a tray of muffin sized ones to use as puddings. Heat the little ones in the microwave and serve with ice cream, custard or cream and you have a good pudding desert!
Or make a dozen small cakes in individual casseroles or mini loaf tins and wrap beautifully for gifts.
This is so easy. It's all in the soaking.
Ok here's the recipe...
You need around 2 kilos of dried fruit. Use what you like. Andy loves apricot so I include chopped up dried apricot. I like cherries so lots of those. You can just get mixed dried fruit.
1 tin crushed pineapple and all the juice.
1 and three quarters cups of sherry or whiskey or port... any spirit is ok. This is key. Once cooked there is no alcohol in your cake. This preserves your cake. It will last well over a year when cooked. Making it a great pantry or gift item, wedding cake even.
2 teaspoons bi carb soda.
2 teaspoons mixed spice.
4 cups plain flour.
2 cups DARK brown sugar.
Ok in a big bowl empty all your fruit and pineapple and add your brandy or whatever you have. Every time go go past this give it a stir. You want to soak this 12 to 24 hours, at least over night. You turn dried fruit into plump moist fruit that is just divine. add your bi carb and spices.
In a separate big bowl beat your eggs, sugar, butter and add your flour and make smooth.
Pour this over fruit mix and with a big strong spoon stir it through.
Line your baking tins. Its fine to use a casserole dis if it has straight sides or anything like muffin tins... depends on the size you want.
Pre heat oven to medium... about 160 is right in my oven. You can start a bit higher but you don't want it to get too dark on top. You must keep an eye on it. A large cake is going to take around 2 hours, small around 1 hour. You are looking for a deep golden colour. Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean you are ready. I will not give times exactly as it depends on your oven and size of tins. Muffin tray cakes are maybe half an hour.
This cake tastes good on day one but better after a couple of weeks and even better after a couple of months. Keeping one on hand through winter is wonderful. It is so yum and good, makes wonderful gifts too. I make this for my husbands birthday every year as it is by far his favourite!