This pan or loaf cake is a delightful tea snack, and though it’s essentially a butter cake, it’s texture and flavour puts it somewhere between a pound cake and a fruit cake. It has the soft, moist and fine texture of a pound cake, with all the rich flavour of a liquor-tinged traditional fruit cake, only with much less dried fruit. I feel it’s a wonderful cross between the two, so I think it will appeal to those of you who are butter cake fans and those who are fruit cake lovers.
This recipe makes a sizeable loaf cake, so I decided to split the batter between a loaf pan and my favourite, a heart-shaped baking pan, just for the fun of it! Of course, you could bake it in a regular baking tin or pan. The original recipe calls for dried figs and dried cranberries, with a suggestion that the former can also be substituted with raisins or dried apricots. I used glaced cherries with dried figs here, but this is a versatile recipe, so feel free to experiment with your favourite dried fruit.
I am thinking as I type this post, to bake this the next time round with sweet pineapple chunks or even candied or crystallised ginger which may give this cake a really flavourful zing! Throw your favourite toasted nuts in there, and who knows how far you can go with this. Here is the recipe (source: ‘Fruity Cakes’ by author, Chef Alan Goh, with changes).
FIG AND CHERRY CAKE RECIPE
200 gm unsalted Butter
280 gm Fine Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
To be sifted together:
320 gm Cake Flour
1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Mixed Spices
3 Eggs, at room temperature
200 gm Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
Grated Zest of 1 Orange
200 gm Dried Figs, chopped (or use Dried Apricots or Raisins)
80 gm Glaced Cherries, chopped (or use Dried Cranberries)
30 gm Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
30 gm Brandy (or Orange Juice)
120 gm Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
30 gm Icing Sugar
1. Mix (D) and set aside for 1 hour. Pre-heat oven to 170 deg C.
2. Using an electric beater, cream (A) on low speed till light and fluffy. Fold in (B) and mix into crumbs.
3. Add (C) as follows: beat in the eggs, one egg at a time, ensuring it is well blended before adding the next. Pour in the orange juice in a continuous stream, a tablespoon at a time, until well blended. Mix in the grated zest.
4. Add (D) and fold until well combined.
5. Pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured loaf tin or baking pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.
6. Mix (E) well. Then pour it over the baked cake, put it back into the oven and bake for a further 3 minutes. Remove from oven, let it cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and let cool on a cooling rack.
7. When the cake is completely cool, sift icing sugar over the top. Serve warm.