Boiled and Baked Christmas Cake with Goji Berries & Dates

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    12–20

Appears in

Bake

Bake

By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

I used to think that boiled fruit cakes never actually went into the oven. However, this isn’t the case – the fruit is first boiled and then goes into the mixture and is baked in the usual way, but the preparation is considerably quicker and easier than making a regular fruitcake. Give it a go! It’s a great short-cut version, perfect for those of us who are pressed for time.

Ingredients

  • 100 g pitted dates, chopped (I like Medjool)
  • 50 g dried cranberries
  • 50 g goji berries or raisins
  • 50 g dried blueberries
  • 75 g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150 ml water
  • 150 g butter
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g white spelt flour
  • 80 g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the topping

  • 75 g pecans
  • 100 g apricot jam
  • 100 g glacé cherries

Equipment

  • 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin, at least 7.5cm deep

Method

Put the dates, cranberries, goji berries or raisins, blueberries and apricots into a pan with the water, butter and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is cooked, set it aside to cool to room temperature. This will take about half an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150°C (fan 130°C/300°F/gas 2) and line the cake tin with baking parchment, making sure there is excess hanging over the sides.

When the fruit mixture is cool, add the eggs, flour, almonds, baking powder, and spices and mix together to just combine. Transfer the mixture into the tin and then make a slight dip using a wooden spoon in the middle of the mixture – this helps the cake to rise more evenly. Pop the cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C (fan 120°C/275°F/gas 1) and bake for another 45 minutes, or until risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven.

About 10 minutes before the cake is cooked, spread the pecans out in a baking tin and slide them into the oven. Cook them until they are just toasted and then remove. Set aside to cool.

While the cake is still warm, brush the top generously with the apricot jam and arrange the toasted pecan nuts with the glacé cherries on top of the cake as per the picture. Brush the nuts and cherries with some more of the apricot jam and then leave the cake to cool completely.

When the cake is cool, wrap it in baking parchment and overwrap with foil. If time allows, leave in a cool dark place for about 3–7 days, then cut into slices to serve.