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    Organic Fruit Cake

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    Organic Fruit Cake

    This cake is made by first simmering the dried fruits in a buttery cider and sugar syrup so they're plump and tender before baking. A hint of chocolate gives depth and colour without a distinctive chocolaty flavour.

    • Organic
    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes plus soaking overnight.
    • Cooking time: 150 minutes to 165 minutes
    • Total time: Between 2 3/4 hours and 3 hours plus soaking overnight. 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 5 minutes

    Serves: 16

    Ingredients

    • 250g organic raisins
    • 250g organic sultanas
    • 250g organic apricots, chopped
    • 400ml organic strong cider
    • 225g Yeo Valley Organic Butter
    • 250g unrefined organic granulated sugar
    • 2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
    • 50g Waitrose Organic Fairtrade Swiss Plain Chocolate, broken into pieces
    • 4 organic medium free range eggs, beaten
    • 125g organic mixed nuts, roughly chopped
    • 250g organic plain wholemeal flour
    • 100g organic self-raising white

    Method

    1. Starting the night before, place the raisins, sultanas and apricots in a large bowl and pour in 300ml of the cider. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
    2. Cut the butter into chunks and place in a large pan with the sugar, the soaked dried fruit, the cinnamon and the remaining cider. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the butter has melted. Continue to cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the fruit has plumped up and the juices are thickened and syrupy. Let the juices bubble gently and don’t cover the pan. Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
    3. Preheat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm round (or 18cm square) cake tin with baking parchment.
    4. Beat the eggs into the fruit mixture, then stir in the nuts and flours until evenly combined. Turn into the tin and level the surface. Secure a strip of brown paper or several thicknesses of newspaper around the tin with string to prevent the cake drying out during baking.
    5. Bake in a preheated oven for about 2 hours until firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out.

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    Cook's tips

    Make in November as a Christmas cake, then look out for festive decoration ideas in your free Christmas Seasons magazine. The cake can be stored for six to eight weeks wrapped in a double thickness of foil, over the paper lining. Keep moist by feeding once or twice with alcohol. Peel away the foil, prick the top all over with a skewer and drizzle with 4 tbsp of cider. Wrap up again until the next time.

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    4 stars