apricot and brandy christmas cakerating:
Tweaked a little from the original Mary Berry recipe. All I've really done is put more brandy in (and on) it and left it to mature. Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe. I was sure I'd posted this here before but couldn't find it when I searched.
300g/9oz dried apricots, chopped
90ml/3½fl oz brandy (or lots, lots more! I use enough to cover the fruit, about 300ml)
225g/8oz butter, at room temperature
225g/8oz light muscovado sugar
225g/8oz plain flour
4 large eggs
350g/12oz glace cherries, halved, rinsed and dried
2 oranges, grated zest only
- Soak the chopped apricots and all the dried fruit (but not the cherries) in the brandy overnight or, if following my instructions and using lots, lots more leave for several days or a week or so (keep the bowl covered with cling film).
- When it's been soaking long enough and you are ready to make and bake the cake, Grease and line a 20cm/8in-deep round cake tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper or parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a very large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, including the dried fruit mixture, and continue to mix until well blended.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon. Cover the top of the cake loosely with a double layer of greaseproof paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 3½ hours or until the cake is a pale golden colour, feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake and if it is getting too brown, cover it loosely with foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out.
Optional: put it on a double layer of foil with enough over to wrap around it. Pour even more brandy over it and wrap the foil over it to seal. Put in an airtight container and leave to mature.
This will keep for ages - a year or more - if you occasionally poke holes in it with a skewer and pour more brandy over it.