I’ve already said how this year, I’m really getting into the festive spirit. I’m in the process of making 5 Christmas hampers, involving decorating shoeboxes with lots of foodie wrapping paper, and one of these is going to be given to a local food bank; Christmas is the season of giving after all.
Talking of giving, I am giving you loads of festive recipes this year and the next stop on the Andrew in the Christmas Kitchen Line is my Fluted Fruit Cake. I am all for Christmas traditions but the one thing I cannot stand is a heavy dense rich fruit cake after a huge banquet and also many fruit cakes will take around 4 hours to bake and in a moving society, I just don’t have the time.
I decided to investigate light fruit cakes and whilst the cakes all looked lighter with a soft, moist and light crumb, they still had a very long bake time. The clear cause of this long bake time was how deep the tins were and immediately I thought about baking the cake in a shallow cake tin which would significantly reduce baking time.
I chose to use a shallow tart tin with fluted edges; the increased surface area crisps up the edges while the centre remains light and soft. It reminds me of a Madeleine with a soft moist centre and crisp edges. Of course with the flutage (a word I’m sure Nigella would use) means you have the grease the pan incredibly well and line the base with parchment to help; if you have a loose bottomed tin, even better!
60g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp orange zest
75g self raising flour
½ tsp mixed spice
75g soaked fruit or mincemeat – the recipe I used is here
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 20cm fluted tart tin well and line the base with a round of baking parchment.
Place everything except the soaked fruits into a bowl and using an electric whisk, beat for 1 minute until it forms an even cake batter. Once mixed, add in the fruits and fold together until the fruits are well incorporated – no need to flavour them as the cake is so shallow anyway!
Pour into the tin, cover with some Christmas coloured sprinkles and bake for 18 minutes until the cake springs back when touched, the edges are brown and the house smells of all those wonderfully scented Christmas aromas.
This cake is such a wonderful cake to have with a cup of tea, its delicate spicing and flavours paired with the light sponge make for a great alternative to a heavy cream cake.