The prunes in this easy Christmas cake ensure that it is dark, moist and squidgy - but what makes it really special is the chocolate.
350g/12oz dried soft prunes, chopped
175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
175g/6oz dark muscovado sugar
175ml/6fl oz honey
125ml/4fl oz coffee liqueur
2 oranges, juice and zest only
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp good quality cocoa
3 free-range eggs, beaten
150g/5¼oz plain flour
75g/2½oz ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g/1oz dark chocolate covered coffee beans
Disco Gold hologram glitter
2mm gold mini balls
approx 10 gold stars
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas mark 2.
Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm/8in, 9cm/3½in deep, round loose-bottomed cake tin with a layer of bake-o-glide or other reusable silicon-baking parchment. When lining the tin with the bake-o-glide, cut the material into strips that are twice as high as the tin itself (it’s easier to use two shorter strips of bake-o-glide, than one long strip); the height of the strips protects the cake from catching on the outside of the cake tin.
Place the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, coffee liqueur, orange juice and zest, mixed spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan. Heat the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring the mixture as the butter melts. Let the mixture simmer for ten minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the mixture will have cooled a little. Add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.
Carefully pour the fruit cake mixture into the bake-o-glide lined cake tin. Transfer the cake tin to the oven and bake for 1¾-2 hours, or until the top of the cake is firm but will has a shiny and sticky look. At this point, if you insert a cake tester into the middle of the cake, the cake should still be a little uncooked in the middle.
Place the cake on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin.
To decorate, place the chocolate covered coffee beans in the centre of the cake and arrange the gold starts around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Then sprinkle some gold mini-balls over the whole of the cake. Sprinkle the Disco Gold Hologram Glitter over the top of the cake.
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