Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mothers Day: Family Fruit Cake

So today is Mother's day and look what I have been given over the last week - two beautiful hand made cards from school and a poster. Apparently eldest thinks I am "As beautiful as a Heart" which is quite sweet and quite complimentary compared to her friend who told her Mummy that she was "As fast as a Cheetah!". I don't know if its just me, but I would rather receive something made with love over a bottle of wine, or spa voucher any day!

As today is about Mother's day, I am featuring a recipe for Family Fruit Cake, which my mother used to cook often during my childhood and still does - in fact I would say that it is probably her signature dish. I don't really remember my mother cooking savoury food from scratch very often (sorry mum) but I do remember her baking cakes, and making this particular cake very frequently.

My Mum's Family Fruit Cake recipe comes from The Dairy Book of Home Cookery (1978 version) which has recently been updated again to a 2012 version! As I have mentioned before, this book is my mother's cooking bible. The Family Fruit Cake featured is a light rather than a dark fruit cake and is mainly light sponge and fruit rather than a very heavy rich dark fruit cake. Rather frustratingly, even though I would consider myself quite adept at home cooking, it seems that I have not yet developed my mother's talent for baking. I can never get my cakes to rise and they never come out anything like my mum's do!

However, the cake is a really delicious cake and it is very quick and easy to make as it only requires one bowl. So here is the recipe:

Happy Mother's day and enjoy the cake!

Family Fruit Cake

225g Self-Raising Flour
100g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
100g Mixed Dried Fruit
1tsp Lemon Rind
1 Egg
75ml Fresh Milk
1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda

  1. Pre-prep or line a round or loaf cake tin, either with baking parchment or butter and flour.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the bicarb of soda.
  3. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the fruit, sugar and lemon rind to the mixture.
  5. Mix to a batter with the egg and milk.
  6. Stir the mixture with a metal spoon until it is evenly combined - do not beat it.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the pre-prepped tin.
  8. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius, gas mark 4 for between 40 and 50 minutes - (Check after 35 minutes and reassess cooking time).
  9. Once cooked, allow to cool and then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.
  10. Allow to cool before serving or storing in an airtight container

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