This is a delicious cake to bake at Christmas, or any time of the year if you enjoy fruit cake. The stout adds a lovely depth of colour and flavour, the chocolate adds richness and the orange adds a little freshness.
I am unsure of the original source of the recipe but my Mum has been making this cake for many, many years as my sister loves it and puts in a request every Christmas.
If you’d like to make your own fruit mince pies, like the ones in the photo, here is our recipe.
250g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
250g pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 x 440ml can stout (eg Guinness)
zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup orange juice
250g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon (or your favourite Christmas spice mix)
200g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup orange marmalade
Blanched almonds and/or pecans, to garnish (optional)
- Place the dried fruit in a large bowl and add the stout, orange zest and juice and mix to combine. Cover and allow to soak for a couple of hours.
- Preheat the oven to 150C (140C fan-forced) and line a 23cm round cake tin with a couple of layers of brown paper followed by a layer of baking paper.
- Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well before adding the next egg.
- Add the fruit mixture to the creamed mixture and mix to combine.
- Add the chocolate and marmalade and mix to combine.
- Sift together the flours and cinnamon, then fold into the fruit mixture until well combined. Spoon mixture into the prepared cake pan and decorate the top with the almonds and/or pecans, if using.
- Bake the cake for 2.5 to 3 hours or until firm to touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check the cake after the first hour or so and if it’s browning too quickly cover loosely with foil.
- When the cake is cooked remove it from the oven and place it on a cooling rack and leave it to cool completely in the tin.
- When cool remove it from the tin and wrap firmly in cling film or foil and store it in a dark place, such as the pantry, for a couple of weeks, or in the fridge where it will keep for several months.
Notes: You could divide the mixture between smaller tins, such as a jumbo muffin tin, or 10 cm round or square cake pans, and gift these to friends and family this festive season. You will need to reduce the cooking time to 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 40 or until firm to touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.