Super simple fruit cake
280g dried mixed fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants, dried apricots, chopped dates etc).
140g dark muscovado sugar or honey
110g butter or margarine.
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice.
225g self-raising flour.
Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
Half teaspoon baking powder.
2 large eggs, beaten.
2 tablespoons honey (optional).
2 handfuls chopped or flaked nuts (optional).
Place the fruit, sugar, butter, water and spices in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
Fold in the dry ingredients followed by the beaten egg.
Pour into a greased loaf or cake tin, bottom lined with parchment paper.
Cook in the middle of a pre-heated oven 180C, Gas 4 for 30 minutes.
If using, drizzle half the honey on top of the cake, scatter with nuts, drizzle with more honey .
Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
If using the nut topping, it is easier to use a loose-bottomed tin to avoid disturbing the topping when removing the cake.
For a last minute Christmas cake, add some grated nutmeg plus the zest of an orange and lemon to the pan at the start. Replace some of the water with the juice of the orange and the lemon plus a slug of brandy.