Tropical Chrissie Cake

This scrumptious variation on the traditional christmas fruit cake includes plenty of dried tropical fruit, macadamia and cointreau. For the best results use quality dried fruit.

Preparation: 15-20 minutes (soak fruit for 2-5 days)

Cooking: 2 hours

Ingredients

Fruit

  • 750g dried ready to eat mixed tropical fruit eg. papaya, pineapple and mango pieces*
  • 125g mixed peel
  • 125g sultanas
  • 125g currants
  • 250ml dark rum
  • 30ml cointreau

Cake

  • 250g macadamia nuts
  • 250g butter (unsalted)
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium sized eggs
  • 90g plain flour
  • 90g self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50ml cointreau
  • 50ml dark rum

To Decorate

  • 250g ready to eat dried pineapple rings or large and medium slices of dried tropical fruit or dried pineapple
  • 100g dried apricot pieces
  • 50g macadamia nuts
  • 100g redcurrant jelly

Method

  1. Fruit: Dice the dried tropical fruit roughly and place it in a bowl with the rest of the fruit and pour over the rum and cointreau. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in a dry cool place for 2-7 days, so the fruit absorbs the rum.
  2. Preparation: Preheat an oven to 160°C. Grease a deep 23cm square cake tin or a 25cm round cake tin and line it with 3 layers of greaseproof paper so that comes 5cm above the edge of the tin.
  3. Cake: Stir the macadamia nuts into the fruit mixture. Sift together plain and self raising flour with the cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat it with the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them until the are well combined with the creamed butter. Gradually mix in the sifted flours and spices, until combined.
  4. Stir the cake mixture into the fruit mixture with a wooden spoon, until well distributed.
  5. Pour the mixture out into the cake tin and spread it out so that is flat and evenly distributed. Place the cake tin in the preheated oven and bake it for around 2 hours or until cooked. To test if it is cooked insert a thin knife into the centre of the cake, when it comes out dry the cake is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  6. Remove the cake from the tin and store in a well sealed container for 2-4 weeks in a cool dry place. Add a capful of 1/2 rum and 1/2 cointreau over the top once a week.
  7. Decorate the cake or simply brush it with a little melted apricot jam.
  8. To Decorate: Melt the raspberry jam in a saucepan and put it aside for 5 minutes. Brush the top of the cake generously with the jam and place some dried fruit and nuts around the edge of the top of the cake. Pile the remaining fruit and nuts in the centre of the cake and brush them with the melted jam. Leave the decorations to set.
* Ready to eat dried tropical fruit is available in supermarkets and health food shops