Christmas cake. Fruit cake.
Not my favourite flavour.
Actually if I had to choose from a plate of cakes I'd choose anything but fruit cake. It's kinda like a last resort option if that's all that's left and I need to feed my sweet tooth. Fruit cake and fruit mince pies can go and jump in the same lonely category really.
But this cake I can make an exception for. Mostly because it has no candied orange peel or glace cherries (yuck!). It DOES have dark chocolate and Cointreau and candied ginger though. And THAT'S okay! And its so simple to make there's no reason not to make i!
1kg of fruit (I used sultanas, currants, apricots, candied ginger and dates)
2 cups cold espresso coffee
100g good dark chocolate chopped roughly
2 cups self raising flour
Soak your fruit in the coffee overnight so it soaks up all the lovely caffeine. This is where I added a healthy dose of Cointreau too (Cointreau is a delicious orange liqueur, otherwise known as triple sec) and just a nice small amount of VERY finely grated orange peel to mix through (no chunks!).
The next day I preheated my oven to 180 deg C and added the chocolate and flour to my soaked mix (warning: its real easy to sample a lot of the fruit before adding anything!). And for good measure I added another healthy dose of Cointreau. The mix required a little more liquid anyway.
Bake for 1hr and cool before cutting.
This cake is really sweet so if you want to cut down on the sweet I'd take out the dates - although these do give a lovely stickiness and flavour to the cake. But cut your slices small and its perfect with a bit of a Christmas nip or an afternoon espresso.