Ron’s Fruit Cake
I cobbled this up on the spur of the moment and, if I do say so myself – and I have excellent taste 😉 – it’s amazingly good.
225g white bread flour (or plain flour)
1 level tablespoon baking powder
160g golden caster sugar (I like a sweet cake, use 110g if you don’t)
275g mixed fruit, cherries optional
50g milk powder**
Cold water sufficient to give a soft dropping consistency
**If you have no milk powder, use milk instead of water to mix. The powder gives a better flavour though. I use Tesco Value Dried Skimmed Milk Powder, but all supermarkets have a similar product.
Weigh the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (use the flat beater when mixing), and leave to soften. When soft, add the egg and sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
In another bowl weigh out the dry ingredients and add to the mixer bowl, add 75ml cold water and mix thoroughly. This should result in a stiffish mix(flour can vary a lot), so with the mixer running, slowly dribble in more water until the desired consistency is achieved – around 90-100ml.
Scrape into a lined 2lb loaf tin (these vary wildly in size, but Sainsbury’s have one that’s about right), level off with a spatula and coat the top thickly with Demerara sugar then, with the back of a tablespoon, gently work the sugar into the top of the mix, where the moisture and heat will combine to form a sweet, crisp, crust.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C, or 160C for a fan oven), lowest shelf, for an hour, or a little more (ovens, too, vary). Test with a skewer, or the blade of a small knife, after an hour, if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Mine took exactly an hour.
Remove, still in the tin, to a cooling rack, After an hour, remove from the tin – it’ll still be hot so pick it up by the paper liner – and set it back on the rack. Fold back the paper and leave to cool.
Gorgeous warm, just as good cold.
You can mix this by hand if you don’t have mixer.
It really is worth getting bread flour (Doves Farm is good), and milk powder.
Next time, I’ll increase the fruit by 50%. This is just personal taste, I like a lot of fruit – the recipe is excellent as it is, witness the fact that I’ve already eaten it all.
I used bread flour without even thinking about it, because it’s what I always have on the worktop, and whenever I need flour, that’s what gets used. I’m still surprised that the cake is so amazingly light and delicate. Still, some of the best recipes happened by accident, and this one is seriously good.
Cherries are optional because I forgot mine!
Finally, I originally listed mixed spice as an option, but removed it as it really wouldn’t improve it.