The richness of chocolate pervades this Christmas fruit cake, a slight variation on a classic that chocolate lovers will be delighted to cut into.
300g chopped dark chocolate
200g dried prunes
50g candied peel
150ml blackcurrant liqueur, plus 2 tbsp per fortnight
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
250g dark brown soft sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
100g cocoa powder
250g plain flour
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dried fruit with the candied peel, then warm the liqueur in a jug in the microwave for 1 min. Mix the liqueur into the fruit, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to soak for 2 hrs.
Grease and line a 23cm square cake tin. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 3. In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 mins until creamy. Beat in the eggs thoroughly, one at a time. Stir well, then fold in the baking powder, sea salt, cocoa powder and then the flour. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces and the pre-soaked fruit.
Fill the prepared cake tin with the mixture and flatten out the top with the back of a spoon. Fold two sheets of newspaper into a multi-layered strip that will fit around the cake tin. Wrap the newspaper around the outside of the tin and tie tightly with string. This helps stop the edges of the cake scorching.
Bake for 2 hrs 20 mins until firm or a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then remove and wrap in a layer of greaseproof paper and then a layer of tin foil. Keep in a cool, dark place.
Every 10 days, feed the cake with blackcurrant liqueur by firstly removing the wrapping and inserting a skewer six times into the cake, almost to the bottom. Using a spoon, drizzle 2 tbsp of blackcurrant liqueur slowly over the top. The liqueur should soak in. Rewrap the cake and place in a cool, dark place. Feed for 6 weeks or until the cake is iced.
More Christmas preparation recipes in the November 2018 issue of LandScape magazine...
Traditional Christmas cake
Orange and cinnamon Christmas cake
Apricot and sherry Christmas cake