A dessert table for the festive season is never quite complete without the requisite plum pudding, gingerbread, and all-time favourite Christmas fruit cake.
Imelda Wadhwa, baker and owner of halal bakery-cafe And All Things Delicious in Jalan Sultan, shares her recipe for a non-alcoholic fruit cake.
To marinate the dried fruit, she uses fresh orange juice instead of rum or brandy, which makes this cake suitable for children too.
For the dried fruit mix:
200g apricots, roughly chopped
200g orange peel
130g golden raisins
135g prunes, roughly chopped
Soaking liquid for the dried fruit mix:
Zest of 3 oranges, chopped
210ml freshly squeezed orange juice
40g golden syrup
For the cake batter:
250g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2.5g Himalaya pink sea salt
100g ground almonds
280g butter, softened at room temperature
100g organic unrefined sugar
120g brown sugar
1. Place the dried fruit into a mixing bowl or container with a lid. Add chopped orange zest, orange juice, golden syrup and treacle. Mix well and cover. Leave to soak in fridge overnight. Take mix out of the fridge to come to room temperature before you start baking the cake.
2. When you are ready to bake the cake, preheat oven to 160 deg C.
3. Grease a 9-inch or 23-cm round cake tin with butter and line it with parchment paper.
4. Sift the flour, ground cinnamon and sea salt. Add the ground almonds to the flour mixture and mix well. Set aside.
5. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go along.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix until well combined.
7. Gently fold in the flour and almond mixture in four batches.
8. Give the mix dried fruit a good stir then add it to the cake mixture. Include any residual liquid from the dried fruit mix. Fold in gently.
9. Pour fruit cake mixture into cake tin and level the top with a spatula.
10. Place the round cake tin onto a baking tray. Bake in the oven on the centre rack for 90 minutes.
11. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil.
12. After 90 minutes, reduce the temperature to 140 deg C and continue to bake for another 90 minutes, or until the cake is done. The cake is cooked when the centre bounces back with pressed gently with your fingers, or when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
13. Remove from oven and leave in tin to cool completely.
14. When the cake is cool, flip it onto a wire rack.
15. Remove parchment paper and decorate as your please.
Makes a 2kg fruit cake, serves 10 to 20 people, depending on the size of the slice.
Note: You can use any combination of dried fruit. Premixed packets of dried fruit are available at baking shops and supermarkets.