Butter, for greasing
175g stoned unsweetened dates
125g ready-to-eat dried prunes
200ml unsweetened orange juice
2tbsp black treacle
1tsp lemon zest
1tsp orange zest
225g wholemeal self-raising flour
1tsp mixed spice
125g dried cranberries
3 large eggs, separated
- Grease and line a deep 8 inch round cake tin. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
- Chop the dates and prunes and place in a saucepan. Pour in the orange juice and simmer for about 10 minutes. remove from the heat and beat the fruit mixture until pureed. Add the treacle and zest and leave to cool.
- Sift the flour and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl (adding any bran that gets sieved out). Add the raisins, sultanas, currents and dried cranberries.
- When the date and prune mixture has cooled beat in the egg yolks. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff and holding peaks.
- Spoon the fruit mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together. Gently fold in the egg whites with a large metal spoon. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and back in the preheated oven for and hour and a half. Leave to cool in the tin.
And that's pretty much it! You can cover it in marzipan and royal icing to have a lovely Christmas or wedding cake. You can keep it in an airtight tin and infuse it with brandy. My personal favourite is to either A. eat it sliced with butter and a big mug of hot chocolate or B. sliced and fried in 1tsp butter, 1 tsp golden syrup, a very naughty but nice foodie treat!