Boiled Fruit Cake

I have chatted with lots of older people about their fruit cakes and puddings when preparing for the Christmas season. Many have recipes passed on from their mothers and grandmothers, some of which would be well over 100 years old.
Remembering that home refrigeration would have been in its infancy at the time perhaps explains some of the methods and ingredients.
Here’s my take on the many recipes that people have shared. It’s a very dark cake because of the molasses. You could use golden syrup instead.




In a large saucepan:

250g Molasses
100g Sugar – any colour
350g Butter
125ml Grog – whatever you prefer
1 shot of espresso – or dissolve a big spoonful of instant
1 teaspoon of bicarb
1500g mixed dried fruit and nuts of your choice

Heat on medium until the mixture is bubbling.
Keep stirring for about 5 minutes to prevent burning, then turn off the heat and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. You can leave it to cool to room temperature, or refrigerate it overnight.
With the fruit mix at room temperature stir in 6 eggs.
Add the grated zest of an orange, plus the juice.
Sieve 400g of plain flour and add a couple of tablespoons of whatever spices you like eg cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, ground cloves etc.
Stir in the flour and spices gradually until it’s all combined.
Bake at 130C in your choice of greased and lined tin either 2 x 10 inch for 4 hours or 1 x 12 inch for 5 – 6 hours.
Keep an eye on them in the last hour so they don’t burn.
Once cooled take them out of the tin. Some people pour over more grog.
Keep the cake in an airtight container or tightly wrapped for a few weeks before cutting it.