Fig and Cointreau Christmas Cake
- 450g (1lb) sultanas and 225g (8 oz) raisins (or use 675g dried mixed fruit)
- 225g (8 oz) dried figs (chopped into quarters)
- 50g (2 oz) glacé cherries
- 500 ml (bit less than 1 pint) orange juice
- 230 ml (8 fl oz) vegetable oil
- 225g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
- 225g (8 oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg (or use 1 tbsp mixed spices)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 250 ml (8 fl oz) Cointreau (or use rum if you prefer)
- Pour the orange juice into a large bowl. Add the fruit and vanilla essence and leave to stand for at least an hour.
- Mix the flour, spices and sugar together. Add all the other ingredients (except the alcohol) and mix.
- Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22 cm) cake tin. Place a piece of grease proof paper or foil on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 4 (175 C) for an hour. Remove grease proof paper.
- Lower temperature to gas mark 3 (160 C) and bake for a further hour. Test the cake by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. It might need longer.
- Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then splash alcohol over the top. Remove from tin and wrap in foil when cool. Improves if stored for a few days.
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