Irish whiskey cake

Serves: 9
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 1 hr 0 mins
  • 450g luxury mixed fruit (dried fruits and mixed peel)
  • 50g glacé cherries
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 100ml Irish whiskey
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 100g butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1. Grease and line a 20cm deep square (or round) cake tin with parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mixed fruit, cherries, mixed spice, whiskey and orange juice. Stir and allow to sit for one hour, if possible.

3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the sugar and stir for five minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

4. Add all the soaked fruit and all the juices from the mixing bowl. Increase the heat and gently simmer the mixture uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and return the warm mixture to the mixing bowl. Allow to cool fully before covering and setting aside for eight hours to allow the fruit to soften further.

5. After eight hours, preheat an oven to 190 degrees Celsius, fan, or equivalent. Stir the mixture well, before mixing in the eggs until evenly incorporated.

6. Sieve together the flour and bread soda and in three batches fold the sieved ingredients through the fruit mixture (the mixture will remain quite moist, which is normal).

7. Transfer the mixture into the lined cake tin and first bake in the preheated oven on a high heat (190 degrees Celsius) fan for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees Celsius and continue baking for a further 50 minutes, by which time the cake will be dark treacle like in colour and firm.

8. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Wrap tightly and store in an airtight container for one or two weeks in a cool dark place, feeding it with a teaspoon of whiskey each week to keep it moist. Serve in squares (or slices).