The poor fruitcake. It’s become a joke, hasn’t it? Well, I was thinking the other day that there’s no reason you couldn’t make a fruitcake that people actually want to eat. I’m not a big fan of candied fruit, so the first step, for me, was to get rid of that. I’ve substituted dried fruit – cranberries, cherries, apricots and golden raisins. All things that are delicious on their own, and which add a pleasant tartness to the dark, sweet, spicy cake. And then, of course, I added bittersweet chocolate chips. Because everything is better with chocolate chips!! And you know how lots of fruitcakes have brandy sprinkled on at the end? Well, this one has a coating of bittersweet ganache with rum in it.
In which we present a fruitcake you actually want to eat
You could bake these in regular cake pans, but for some reason (because I’m crazy!) I wanted them to be more unusual shapes. So I baked one in a casserole dish, and the other in a little straight-sided unusually shaped bowl that my friend Peter made. I wanted to cook them for a long time, because Mrs Beaton cooks her fruitcakes for, like, 3 hours! Mine only took a little over an hour. And if you use regular cake pans they’d probably be done in 1/2 an hour.
The smell of this cake is intoxicatingly christmas-y, so let’s dive right in with The Maytals’ Happy Christmas