I'm not a fan of the traditional fruit cake. I'm not exactly sure why but perhaps it's the fact that it contains so much fruit, has those glazed cherries or is usually soaked in alcohol. And when I was younger the alcohol burned when I ate it so I think that never gave me a good impression.
So for all of you out there who are not fans of the fruit cakes during Christmas time, I came up with something similar... but different. Chocolate Spiced Fruit Cake. It's a rich chocolate mud cake with dried fruits folded into it and because of the chocolate, it doesn't really have a strong fruit flavour. If you are not a fan of the dried fruit, you can always leave them out and perhaps use nuts instead. Although it will then be a Chocolate Spiced Nut Cake :)
I initially made a batch to cut, wrap and give away as little presents to my friends and suppliers but the boyfriend liked it so much he devoured about a third of it so I now don't have enough and will have to spend this weekend baking more.
On the plus side, he did suggest that a cinnamon whipped cream would go really well with it and oh boy... it was SO yummy!
Chocolate Spiced Fruit Cake (approx 10 servings, will fit an 8in square tin)
- 150g Dried Fruit (You can use your favourite dried fruits but I used 50g of cranberries, 50g of figs and 50g of raisins)
- 40ml of Brandy (if you are not a fan of alcohol, you can always just soak the fruit in a syrup made from jam and some water)
- 110g Butter
- 110g Dark Chocolate
- 70g Flour
- 70g Self Raising Flour
- 30g Coco Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Bi-Carb Soda
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 3 teaspoon Oil
- 2 eggs
- 40ml thickened cream (you can use milk but cream was all I had the day I made this)
- 1 Tablespoon Mixed Spice
- 40ml Brandy
- 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 50g Milk Chocolate
- 50g White Chocolate
Cinnamon Vanilla Cream
- 300ml cream
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (optional, you can use vanilla essence instead)
Chocolate Spiced Fruit Cake
1. Soak the dried fruit with the brandy over night or for a couple of hours. Until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
2. Preheat oven to 160 degrees and line the tin with baking paper. Melt the butter and chocolate together.
3. Sift the flours, spice, bi-carb soda and coco powder into a large bowl and add the sugar. This forms the dry mix.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, cream and oil.
5. Make a well in the middle of the dry mix and pour in the chocolate mix and egg mix. Using a whisk or a wooden spoon slowly start mixing by staring from the middle and going outwards.
6. Once the mix is incorporated, fold in the fruits and any leftover liquid.
7. Once the mix is in the tin, tap it against the table a few times to even everything out.
8. Bake for approx an hour or until a inserted skewer comes out relatively clean. Note that the skewer will not come out absolutely clean due to all the fruit in the cake.
1. While the cake is still warm, poke lots of holes on through the cake with a skewer or fork.
2. Combine the spices and brandy and brush generously over the cake.
When the cake is completely cooled, place on top of a newspaper (with baking paper still underneath, this helps to contain the mess) and drizzle melted white and milk chocolate over the top. Allow it to set before cutting and wrapping.
Cinnamon Vanilla Cream
Whip cream until soft peak stage and then mix in the cinnamon and vanilla. Serve on the side or on top of a slice of cake!
For a really decadent option microwave the cake for 10 - 15 seconds and then serve with cream... yummm!
As a cute little gift idea, you can cut up little slices, place in a plastic bag and wrap with paper and ribbon.