For the cake:
- 1 unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ ground almonds
- 2 plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ + ½ sweet sherry or brandy
- 1 pecans
Preheat the oven to 140°C and grease 2 9-inch round cake pans. ( I don't have 2 9 inch cake pans, so I used 2 8 inch ones. This made a thicker cake, which I like better)
Beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the ground almonds.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt and stir this into the batter. Stir in ¼ of the sherry or brandy. Fold the pecans into the batter then add the soaked fruits, stirring well to coat the fruit.
Spoon this into the prepared pans and spread to level. If you wish, arrange pecans on the top of the cakes in a ring. Bake the cakes for 2 hours and 15 minutes, ( mine were ready at 2 hours) until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
While still hot from the oven, brush the tops of the fruitcakes with some of the remaining ½ of sherry or brandy. Brush again one or 2 more times as the cakes cool, then remove the cakes from their pans and wrap well.
The fruitcakes will keep for up to 8 weeks in a cool place, or can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Pecans being stirred into the sugar and butter mixture.
Fruit being folded in
MMmmm all together!
All wrapped up. This is because the cake needs to be in the oven for a long time. You don't want the sides or top to burn.
There's a fair amount of washing up to be done!
The finished cakes!
The smell while these were cooking was amazing. We had run out of sherry, so I basted them with Madeira. I ordered some holly, fondant cutters yesterday and they arrived already! I'm going to decorate one of them for christmas day. Marzipan and fondant icing! yummy!