This could be the easiest fruitcake it’s possible to make. It’s that simple you almost feel your cheating. At its most basic it has only 3 ingredients but is versatile (and heavy) enough to take a few more things you may wish to throw at or in it.
I confess I stuck to the original recipe ingredients to see if I could speed up the time it takes to prepare. Not that its a difficult or a time consuming cake to make it’s just that the first step is soaking the fruit overnight in the fridge and this is hurry up cakes.com after all :o)
There are numerous versions of this cake around and all seem to be popular so I used the one I thought most versatile.
At its simplest this cake could be prepared if you got unexpected visitors with the bare minimal time spent away from them. It needs virtually no preparation or nannying .
So on with the ingredient list:
600ml of chocolate flavoured milk (or coffee or banana or caramel etc.)
2 (Australian) cups of self-raising flour
only 3 simple fruit cake ingredients
1kg of mixed dried fruit
Seeing as that didn’t take up much room I’ll convert:
20 fl. oz.of chocolate flavoured milk (or coffee or banana or caramel etc.)
2 cups of self-rising flour + a rounded tablespoon to round up to an Aussie cup size
2.3 lb of mixed dried fruit
On to the method.
The original recipe tells you to mix the milk and fruit together and leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next day you sift the flour into the soaking fruit and mix well. Then you put the mixture into the tin and bake. The emphasis is on the soaking over night. The most important step.
Heh. I wanted to see if it could be made quicker than that and it can.
In a lot of the traditional fruit cake recipes I use soaking the fruit, in say tea or juice, is quite common. Again using the soak over-night method but what I’ve found is adding the fruit to the liquid and gently warming it until its just hot, then letting it sit and cool for a short while does the job just about the same.
So I thought I’d try this with the flavoured milk.
Now if you are following my instructions to replicate exactly what I did you will need to add the milk and fruit to a pan and warm gently.
Then you forget to turn down the heat and walk away for a minute while you wait for it to heat up. You check twitter and get distracted until you hear the sound of boiling milk setting itself firmly to your stove-top ;o)
Spilt chocolate milk
Did you know that bringing flavoured milk to a rapid boil encourages it to split into watery liquid and gloopy clusters of lumps? Well you do now.
So this was turning into a boiled-fruitcake kind of recipe and that isn’t what we wanted, so I guesstimated how much liquid I’d lost and added an equal quantity of normal moo juice.
An after thought was to only warm the fruit in half the milk and keep the second half chilled. Then after warming you could add the chilled milk to make the whole thing cool down quicker.
If anyone tries this please let me know how it goes.
I decided to not wait until the liquid was cold, or in fact cool and added the flour when it had lost most of its “hotness”. I think this made for more difficult mixing but I really need to build my upper body strength back up and stop sounding like a wuss :p
This does make a large volume of mixture so it does take some mixing. I greased and lined (in my own imprecise manner) a spring-form tin 22cm in diam. and 6cm deep that’s roughly 9in by 2½ in in old money.
I had previously preheated the oven to 180°C aka 350°F and popped it in there. I initially decided to bake for 45mins (didn’t go with the original recipe here as most seemed to bake in a loaf tin so the timing would be off, incidentally the reason I didn’t go loaf shaped is I felt that it has too much fruit to make slicing it awkward) and our lousy oven dictates turning round the food halfway through baking so 25 minutes in I went to turn it round and found it had over-colored, in fact almost burnt on top already so I covered with foil and turned the oven down slightly. After 45 mins it probably could of come out but I left it for an hour total because I’d reduced the heat earlier. The skewer came out clean and I took it out of the oven and let it cool in the tin.
Here she is:
The finished quick and easy fruit cake
Its a very dense, fruit-rich cake. It is delicious in itself but I like spice with my fruit so I would probably
add some mixed spice next time I make it. I would also recommend using mixed fruit which has the candied peel included as this certainly added something to the cake in my opinion.
If you wanted to make this cake more special, or to have at Christmas if your usual cake runs out I’d add a bit of booze (whiskey,rum, brandy etc) Just a couple of spoonfulls and some chopped nuts, say substitute a few teaspoons of fruit with the chopped nuts. You could also mess around with the types of fruit in there.
You could make up your own flavoured milk from a powder or cocoa as long as its sweet or sweetened.
I don’t think the cake could handle full on Christmas style icing but could certainly handle something simple. I’m not sure how long the cake will keep as I only made it a couple of days ago. Because it lacks a lot of the traditional ingredients that help it’s storage life I would recommend eating it as soon as possible. It is a large cake and I will be making a half-mixture next time.
One suggestion is to cook the cake in a square tin and cut in to 4 after it has cooled, drizzle with a glaze or light icing and give away to hosts of your holiday gatherings. They will think you’ve spent hours (and a fortune) making it.
So there she is, what I consider the easiest, quickest and simplest(and possibly the most versatile) fruitcake to make
So easy it's almost a cheats fruitcake
Tags: Christmas, easy, egg-free, fat free, fruitcake, last minute, quick