Created by Great British Bake Off winner Frances
Quinn, a whole haberdashery department of edible goods can
be used to decorate this cake, from homemade marzipan balls of wool
to biscuit toggles and buttons. This is the perfect cake to enjoy
at your Big Tea Cosy in support of Breast Cancer
We used the Dualit Hand
Mixer to mix the ingredients with ease.
- For the cake:
- 100g mixed dried fruit
- 100g cranberries
- 100g pitted soft prunes, snipped into small pieces
- 100g soft-dried dates, snipped into small pieces
- 100g dried figs, snipped into small pieces
- 100ml brandy, plus optional extra to 'feed' the cake
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g dark, muscavado sugar
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 2 eggs (at room temperature)
- 100g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp ground mixed spice
- 100g mixed whole nuts, toasted and chopped
- 15cm round , 7-8cm deep, loose-bottomed tin, greased and fully
lined or lined extend the parchment above the rim to protect cake
during the long baking
- Cake smoother
- Mini cutters, 1.5-2.5cm
- Cocktail sticks
- Create decorations from marzipan and fondant icing
- Place all the dried fruits in a bowl. Add the brandy and orange
zest and juice and stir to combine.
- Cover the bowl with a shower cap, cling film or plate and leave
to soak in a cool place for at least 12 hours, or even better, up
to 2 days.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 140ºC/120º
- Using a hand mixer, beat
the butter with the sugar for 5-10 minutes or until very light and
creamy. Beat in the treacle or syrup, if using.
- Break the eggs into a mug or jug and beat lightly with a fork.
Gradually add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well
after each addition.
- Sift the flour and spice into the bowl in a couple of batches
and fold in each batch gently.
- Finally, stir through the soaked fruit, with any liquid left in
the bowl and the chopped nuts.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface
with the back of a spoon dipped in hot water.
- Bake for about 2 ¼ hours or until the cake is firm to the touch
and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
- Set the tin on a wire rack. If you want to 'feed' the cake,
prick the surface all over with a cocktail stick or skewer, going
about 3cm deep.
- Brush over about 1 tablespoon of brandy. Leave to soak in while
the cake finishes cooling.
- Once the cake is cold, remove it from the tin and wrap in fresh
baking parchment, if you like and then in foil before storing in an
airtight tin or container for at least 5 days before
- Ideally, cover your cake with marzipan at least a day before
you ice it with fondant, or up to 5 days ahead.
- Decorate with marzipan and fondant wool balls, buttons, biscuit
buttons, beads, toggles, knitting needles and tape measure.
For a more detailed and full recipe please reference
Quinntessential Baking by Frances Quinn (Bloomsbury, £25)