makes one 23 cm round cake
375 g currants
375 g raisins
340 g pitted prunes
1 cup port
1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter, chopped
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 cup dark brown sugar
finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1/3 cup treacle (molasses)
1 1/2 cups (230 g) plain flour
1/2 cup (60 g) self-raising flour
1 tbsp Mixed Spice (All Spice / Pumpkin pie spice)
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cinnamon
200 g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
250 g glace cherries
200 g walnut halves
Extra 1/4 cup port, for pouring over cake
1. Put currants and raisins in a large bowl. Cut up prunes with scissors and add to bowl. Add port and mix well. Leave to stand for two hours, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F) gas 3. Line the base and sides of a deep 23 cm-round tin with two layers of baking paper, bringing it 5 cm above the rim of the tin.
2. Roughly chop butter and put in the small bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until butter is pale yellow. Add vanilla and beat for a minute longer. Pour in sugar and beat until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Add the creamed mixture to the fruit. Add the rind, juice and treacle and stir to combine. Sift the flours and spices onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Add the sifted dry ingredients and chopped chocolate, cherries and walnuts to the mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the tin. Tap tin gently on the bench to settle the mixture. Smooth the surface of the cake mixture with a wet hand. Wrap a double thickness of brown paper around the tin and secure with string or a paperclip. Bake for 3 -3 1/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.
5. Remove cake, pour over extra port and wrap in a thick clean towel.
6. Keep wrapped until cake is completely cold - about 24 hours.
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