Chocolate whisky fruit cakes Recipe
200g pitted prunes
200g pitted dates
200g dried dessert figs
200g red glace cherries, quartered
185ml (3/4 cup) whisky
Melted butter, for greasing
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
60ml (1/4 cup) hot water
250g butter, at room temperature, cubed
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
185g (1 1/4 cups) plain flour
50g (1/3 cup) self-raising flour
35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
150g good-quality cooking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons whisky, extra
Chocolate whisky fruit cakes Recipe
Chop the prunes, dates and figs to roughly the same size as the sultanas. Place the prunes, dates, figs, sultanas, cherries and whisky in a large bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight or up to 3 days, stirring every day, to macerate.
Lightly brush 5 straight-sided, deep square 9.5cm, or 5 deep round 11cm cake pans with the butter to grease. Cut 2 strips of brown paper and 2 strips of non-stick baking paper long enough to line the sides of each pan and wide enough to extend 7cm above the top of the pans. Fold in a 2cm wide border along one long side of each strip of paper. Cut 2cm border diagonally at 1cm intervals to the fold. Place 2 brown paper strips into each pan, with diagonal cuts along the bottom and fitting the fold into the bottom corners or edge. Repeat with baking paper strips. Use the base of a cake pan as a guide to cut 2 pieces of brown paper and 2 pieces of baking paper and use to line the base of each pan.
Position the oven shelf so that the top of the cake pans (not the paper) will be in the centre of the oven. Preheat oven to 150°C.
Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and set aside for 10 minutes. Use an electric mixer or hand beaters to beat butter in a medium bowl on high until smooth. Add the sugar and beat, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally, until very pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl often.
Sift flours and cocoa powder into a bowl. Use a spatula to fold 1/2 the flour mixture into the butter mixture with 1/2 the coffee mixture until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and coffee mixtures. Stir in the chocolate. Spoon the cake batter into the bowl of fruit. Use clean hands or a wooden spoon to mix, breaking up any clumps of fruit, until thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture evenly among the lined cake pans and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon. Drop each cake pan on the bench 4-5 times to settle the mixture. Place on a large baking tray and place 4 layers of brown paper on top of the lined pans, resting the paper on the paper collars (not on the surface of the cakes).
Bake in preheated oven, rotating the pans after 1 hour, for 1 3/4 hours or until a
skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. (You may need to insert the skewer several times to make sure as fruit and melted chocolate can stick to it and be mistaken for uncooked cake mixture.)
Drizzle the hot cakes with the extra whisky. Trim away the paper extending above the pans and cover each cake pan tightly with foil. Wrap in a tea towel and cool overnight.
Remove cold cakes from pans and peel away paper. Wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and then in foil. Place in a container. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 3 months
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