Fig and cointreau christmas cake

  • 450g sultanas
  • 225g raisins
  • 225g dried figs – chopped into quarters
  • 50g glacĂ© cherries
  • 500ml orange juice
  • 230ml vegetable oil
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250ml Cointreau (or rum if you prefer)

Method

  1. Pour the orange juice into a large bowl. Add the dried fruit and vanilla essence and leave to stand for at least an hour.
  2. Mix the flour, spices and sugar together. Add all the other ingredients (except the alcohol) and mix.
  3. 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 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for an hour. Remove grease proof paper.
  4. Lower temperature to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 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.
  5. 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.