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    Rich Plum Cake

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    Rich Plum Cake

    Serves: 12

    Ingredients

    • 1tsp mixed spice
    • 1tsp ground nutmeg
    • 170g currants
    • 170g sultanas
    • 170g raisins
    • 130g stoned prunes, roughly chopped
    • 65g mixed candied peel, roughly chopped
    • 65g glacĂ© cherries
    • 270ml dark rum, plus extra for feeding the cake
    • 170g butter, softened
    • 170g dark brown muscovado sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
    • 5 medium eggs, separated
    • 95ml black treacle
    • 1 lemon, finely grated and juiced
    • 1 small orange, finely grated
    • 255g plain flour, sifted
    • 3/4 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 95ml calvados

    Method

    1. Mix together the currants, sultanas, raisins, prunes, candied peel and cherries in a large bowl. Tip into a plastic container that has a lid, and mix in 225ml rum. Seal and leave for up to a week. Mix regularly to ensure that all the fruit can absorb the alcohol.
    2. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/gas 2 1/2 . Lightly oil a 24cm cake tin. Then, using the base of your cake tin as a template, cut a circle of greaseproof paper. Measure the depth of the tin, allow an extra 2cm and cut a ribbon of greaseproof paper, long enough to fit inside the tin. Line the base and sides.
    3. If there is any rum left in the dried fruit, strain, measure and make up to 45ml. You will need to add this to the cake mix later.
    4. Beat the butter until pale, then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the spices and egg yolks, followed by the treacle, grated citrus zest and lemon juice. Mix in half the flour, half the macerated fruit and 3 tbsp rum.
    5. Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the remaining flour. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the remaining flour and fruit, followed by the egg whites and the calvados.
    6. Immediately scoop into the cake tin, making sure there is a slight dip in the middle of the cake. Put the cake in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 140ºC/gas 1 and bake for another 90 minutes, but check after 60 minutes, as all ovens vary. If at any time you are worried about the cake top burning, cover loosely with some greaseproof paper. To see if the cake has finished baking, insert a skewer into it. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in its tin.
    7. Only remove from the tin when it is completely cold. Peel away the paper before arranging on a large clean sheet of foil.
    8. Take a fine skewer and puncture the top of the cake. Using a spoon, drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons rum. Then tightly wrap in the foil and store in an airtight tin. Continue to feed the cake with rum every day or so, until you are satisfied that it is sufficiently rich and alcoholic.

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