By Popular Demand

Boiled fruit cake. I know how unattractive that sounds, but trust me.

This recipe comes from Josceline Dimbleby, A Taste of Dreams, but I have altered it a bit, so feel free!

Heat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Put a disc of buttered parchment into the bottom of a buttered, deep 6 – inch cake tin. I often line the sides with buttered parchment too. If you are lucky enough to have an Aga cook the cake in the cool oven overnight.

6 oz butter
6 oz soft brown sugar
1/2 pint (300ml) water
4 oz sultanas (golden sultanas are particularly pretty)
4 oz currants
4 oz prunes, roughly chopped
2 oz candied peel, angelica, chopped glaçé cherries and such
2 oz walnut pieces

Put all the above into a saucepan and simmer gently for 10 minutes, covered. Let cool.

8 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Sift together into a bowl. Add the fruit mixture and stir with a wooden spoon, then add

2 eggs, beaten

Bake in the centre of the oven for one hour, test, leave longer (only up to 20 minutes) if necessary. Turn onto a rack to cool.

This cake would last well if it weren’t always eaten so quickly – its moist, fudgy flavour is irresistible, very like the incredibly expensive cakes you can buy from monks on the internet, or Fortnums at Christmas. It also has a slight look of stained glass, why is this a theme? Quite apart from stained glass cookies made with boiled sweets!

This is for Sparky, and for Paddy.

About Tricia Rose

Not distracted by shiny objects.
This entry was posted in domesticity, Holidays. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to By Popular Demand

  1. Fruit cake gets a bad reputation because there’s so much bad fruitcake. This one sounds pretty good.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Gillianne says:

    Not sure I should thank you for this recipe. :) A post-holiday return to regular exercise is clearly on the horizon! But for now, yum.

  3. PP says:

    I didn’t think I missed sweet things particularly until I saw that picture. Ah, a pimp can dream.

    Happy Christmas Tricia Rose – wishing you a peaceful but not boring day in your cabin on the water. (Me, I’m up before everyone else courtesy of the uncouth, claxoning birds around here).

  4. tammy says:

    OMG. i love anything dense and heavy and moist. cake i mean. they can have all the fluffy and light that they work so hard to achieve. what’s that about anyway?
    give me a REAL cake. like this one. perfection!
    thank you!
    happy christmas tricia rose.
    tammy j

  5. Sparky says:

    Thank you, Tricia! My beau always says fruitcake is better in Australia. Now I can try it myself. Merry Christmas! ~Sparky

  6. This looks delicious and easy enough to encourage me to try it out. Wishing you a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and so many thanks for your lovely blog and your visits and kind words on mine!
    Karen x

  7. Loi Thai says:

    I personally love fruit cake….this one looks extra yummy! Perfect with a cup of black tea. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Tricia. Wishing you a glorious New Year ahead! ~Loi

  8. stitchfork says:

    Maybe I need to try your recipe for fruitcake to change my overall opinion about it…
    Wishing you a very Happy New Year Tricia!

  9. just read this… but I’m down for this fruitcake.. I love fruitcake but this one looks easy and oh so delectable… I’m making this soon’s I have a minute in the kitchen..


  10. Mary says:

    An excellent recipe that I’ve been using for years. Glad to have found it on your site (my Joscelyn Dimbleby book is in storage at present). The cakes I’ve made will shortly be taken to the village institute to help feed the visitors to the well-dressing festivities. Many thanks.

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