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    Quick fruit cake

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    Quick fruit cake

    There is no need to soak the fruit overnight so it's much faster to prepare - it's also ready to eat as soon as it's cooled.  It's so deliciously rich and fruity that no one will guess you've made it so quickly!

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 4 hours to 5 hours
    • Total time: 4 hours to 5 hours

    Serves: 25 - 30

    Ingredients

    1kg Waitrose Vine Fruit Mix 
    125g Waitrose LOVE life Soft Agen Prunes, chopped 
    125g Waitrose LOVE life Soft Apricots, chopped 
    100g pack Waitrose Dried Cranberries 
    175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing 
    250g dark brown muscovado sugar 
    250g tin Clement Faugier Chestnut Vanilla Spread 
    125ml Gabriel Boudier Cherry Brandy, reserving 1 tbsp for the top 
    Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 
    Grated zest and juice of 3 clementines 
    3 essential Waitrose Free Range Eggs, beaten 
    250g plain flour 
    1 tsp baking powder 
    1 tsp ground cinnamon 
    1 tsp ground nutmeg 
    1 tsp mixed spice

    Method

    1. Place all the fruits, butter, sugar, chestnut spread, brandy, lemon zest, clementine zest and juice into a large pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter melts. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to stand for at least 35 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, grease the sides of a 20cm round or square deep-sided cake tin and line with non-stick baking parchment. Wrap the outside of the tin in a triple layer of brown parcel paper and secure with string. (This will ensure the cake cooks slowly and evenly and stops the sides burning and colouring too quickly.)

    3. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Tip the cooled, soaked fruit into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the beaten eggs, sieve in the flour, baking powder and spices and mix well, until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the top of the cake is a little cracked and dry to touch. A skewer inserted into the cake will still come out a little sticky, but the cake will be ready. Discard the brown paper from around the tin, to allow the cake to cool more quickly. Spike the top with a cocktail stick and drizzle over the remaining cherry brandy.

    4. When the cake has cooled completely, remove from the tin and place on a board.

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