Quick fruit cakes
A generous handful each of:
Dates, cut in half
Dried apricot, chopped
250g each of:
Soft brown sugar
2 heaped teaspoons mixed spices.
Put all the fruit except the cherries in to a bowl, cover with water and then drain off virtually all the water. Microwave on low/medium power for a few minutes until the fruit is warm. Allow to cool.
Whizz the butter and sugar together in a food processor until soft and fluffy.
Whizz in the eggs one at a time, with a little of the flour.
Pulse in the remaining flour and spices.
Pulse in the fruit and cherries – you might need to fold in by hand.
Place dollops of the mix in to muffin or cupcake paper containers.
Cook at Gas 1 for 45 minutes.
I warmed the fruit , put the butter and sugar in the food processor bowl, weighed out the flour and spices, got out the eggs the night before so everything was at room temperature.
It only took about 15 minutes to create the mix and put the 12 cupcake containers in to the individual holes of a metal tray to support them while cooking.
The mix made 12 small cakes and another larger one (cooked for an extra 30 minutes, for later in the week).
This would make a good alternative last-minute Christmas cake.