I got the idea for this recipe when I was home and really wanted to bake a cake but had little exciting to flavour one with, when I remembered my rum-soaked fruits. I always have a jar or so soaking ready for the festive season, so I decided to throw some in my madeira sponge mix et voila! The smells flowing from the oven were divine and had me impatient for the cake to be done!
Makes 12 slices
for the cake
- 165g unsalted butter, softened
- 165g light brown soft sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 220g plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300g rum-soaked fruits (see below)
for the rum-soaked fruit
- 500g mixed dried fruit
- 300ml dark rum
- 150ml port
Prepare the fruits: place the dried fruit in a large jar and pour over the rum and port, the liquid should cover the fruits. Secure the lid tightly and give the jar a good shake to evenly mix the contents. Leave in a cool, dark place for at least one week for the fruits to macerate – the longer the better. When ready, use a slotted spoon to remove the soaked fruits, allowing excess liquid to drip off before weighing and adding to the cake mix.
Make the cake: preheat the oven to 170°C (160°C fan)/325°F/gas mark 3, grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and line with non-stick baking paper (the base of the tin should be about 20x10cm).
In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer (hand-held or freestanding) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the flour and baking powder until the mixture is smooth (it will be very thick), followed by the vanilla and fruits mixing until even.
Transfer the mix to the prepared tin and bake for an hour and fifteen minutes until risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.