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Before starting this Christmas Fruit Cake, organise all the necessary ingredients for the filling.
For the filling: Place the dried apricot cubes in a mixing bowl.
Add the candied ginger...
... candied cherries...
... and pecans. I recommend using whole pecans instead of pecan halves for a crunchier effect.
Add the candied fruit mix...
... candied pineapple...
... Golden raisins...
... Port wine...
... and combine carefully with a spatula.
The filling mix is ready. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside overnight at room temperature.
For the cake batter: Organise all the necessary ingredients.
Tip the flour in the stand mixer recipient.
Add the salt...
... baking powder...
... ground ginger...
... ground cloves...
... and the cinnamon powder.
Combine the dry ingredients with a whisk. Set aside.
Place the softened butter and brown sugar in a separate bowl.
Beat the ingredients with the flat beater until homogeneous.
Add the eggs one by one. Start with one egg.
Continue kneading while adding the eggs. Make sure one egg is completely incorporated before adding another one.
Add the second egg and continue mixing.
Add the molasses to the stand mixer bowl...
... and combine again.
Add the tea (which has cooled down beforehand)...
... and the dry ingredients...
... and knead with the flat beater at low speed.
The finished batter should be brown, smooth and homogeneous.
Add the macerated mix to the cake batter. Add all of the Port wine as well.
Mix at low speed with the flat beater.
This is what the result should look like at this stage.
Use the base of a round springform mould and draw a circle with a pencil on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Using scissors, cut a disc of greaseproof paper following the drawing.
Using the mould as a guide, cut a hole in the centre of the paper disc.
The mould has a height of 6cm.
Draw three strips to a width of 7cm (slightly larger than the mould height) on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Cut the paper strips with a graduated ruler and a box cutter.
Grease the inside of the mould with an oil spray.
Line the sides of the mould with the paper strips. They will easily stick to the grease.
The result should be as shown in the photo.
Line the sides of the central cone with a paper strip as well.
Place the paper disc at the bottom of the mould. Flatten the paper disc with your hand.
Grease the baking parchment with oil spray.
Fill the mould with the fruit cake batter.
Even the surface of the cake with a rubber spatula.
On the surface of the cake batter, arrange pecan nuts...
... and whole candied fruits.
Place in a fan-assisted oven preheated at 135°C...
... and bake for 2 hours.
Take the cake of the oven and insert the blade of a knife in the centre of the cake to check if it's cooked. The blade should be dry. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
Prepare a sugar syrup 30° baumé, using 100 grams of water and 135 grams of sugar. Bring to boil, then take the pan away from the heat when the sugar is completely melted.
Using a pastry brush, apply the sugar syrup over the surface of the cake. This will give a glossy finish to the candied fruits on the surface. Set aside to cool.
Open the springform pan and remove the sides of the mould.
Remove the strips of greaseproof paper on the sides...
... and in the central hole. Arrange the fruit cake on a serving plate.
The Christmas fruit cake is ready. It will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!
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