Chocolate Fruit Cake

A recipe for the more experienced cook as it can be difficult to tell when it is cooked

This recipe is a must for all chocolate lovers. It is a rich fruit cake with a delicious chocolate flavour.

Makes an 8″ round or 7″ square cake

Ingredients
175g (6oz) Butter – softened
175g (6oz) soft dark brown sugar
175g (6oz) plain flour
4 level tablespoons cocoa powder
3 medium sized eggs, beaten
500g (1lb) mixed fruit
125g (4oz) glace cherries
100g (3.5 oz) flaked almonds
200g dark chocolate (chocolate cooking drops are the best although a bar grated can be used)
Half teaspoon vanilla extract
Milk to mix

Grease and line the cake tin and set the oven to 160 deg C, 325 deg F, Gas Mark 3

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and mix with the dried fruit, cherries, nuts and chocolate.
Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and creamy.
Gradually beat the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar. then fold in the floured fruit and nut mix.
Finally add the vanilla extract and enough milk to give a dropping consistency.

Spoon mixture into prepared tin and smooth the surface making a slight hollow in the centre.

Bake cake in the centre of the oven for one hour then reduce the temperature to 150 deg C, 300 deg F, Gas Mark 2 and contine baking until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (approx further one and a half hours)
(Note) care must be taken not to overcook this cake as melted chocolate on the skewer can give the impression that the cake is not cooked.

When cooked, remove from the oven and leave in the tin until completely cold. Remove the lining paper and “feed” the cake (See No 9 in Basic Rules). A mixture of 2 tablespoons Dark Rum and 1 Tablespoon of Sherry works best with this cake.

Wrap in greaseproof paper and place in a sealed container. This cake is best left for at least four weeks before decorating/eating, but the wait is definately worthwhile.

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