This fruitcake is a rich one and suitable for those occasions that warrant something really special. Rose, from Canberra, gave me this recipe.
Christopher’s birthday cake un-iced
My Uncle’s 92nd birthday cake.
My aunt’s 90th birthday cake.
Grand Marnier Fruit Cake
250g mixed peel
125g glace apricots
125 glace pineapple
60g blanched slivered almonds
60g walnut pieces
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
½ cup Grand Marnier (I use Cointreau)
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup orange juice
250 g butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
Place sultanas and peel in large basin, chop all fruit the same size as a sultana and add to the basin. Mix in almonds, walnuts and orange rind.
Sprinkle castor sugar evenly into heavy based pan, place over medium heat, cook until sugar is beginning to melt and brown, gently stir sugar until completely melted and golden brown.
Remove from heat, add orange juice, return to hear, stir constantly until toffee pieces are dissolved. Do not boil mixture; this will evaporate too much of the liquid. Add Grand Marnier, strain to remove any small pieces of toffee; cool.
Place fruit mixture in airtight container or large jar, which has a tight fitting screw top; pour Grand Marnier mixture over fruit mixture. Seal with plastic lid, stand overnight. Next day, invert jar or moisten mixture well. Do this for 10 days.
Beat butter until soft, add brown sugar, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time; beat only until combined before adding the next egg. Pour fruit mixture into large basin, add creamed mixture, mix well; use your hand for most efficient mixing. Add sifted flour; mix well.
Prepare a deep 20cm square or deep 23 cm round tin by lining base and sides with three thicknesses of greaseproof paper. Bring lining paper 5cm above edge of tin. Spread mixture evenly into tin, bake in slow oven 3 to 31/2 hours. Brush top evenly with about 2 tablespoons extra Grand Marnier, cover with aluminum foil. Leave until cold before removing from tin. To store cake: remove foil and tin, do not remove lining paper, wrap cake securely in plastic food wrap to make airtight, store in cool dark place, preferably in refrigerator. This cake will keep for at least a year.
Decorate cake with Marzipan and then a firm icing. These can be bought and rolled out using icing sugar to stop sticking. Marzipan oranges can be made to decorate this cake with some green leaves.
If nuts are a problem, I use the same weight in ginger or currants instead. If you like nuts and don’t want to ice, cover top with split almonds. Hope this appeals to someone out there, it is really a delicious treat! Happy cooking!