Yesterday was definitely a day for doing 'not a lot'. We had a walk into Uppermill to get some milk & logs and then once we were back on the boat Roger spent a few hours doing his web design updates while I made a cake. This is an old family favourite, I even remember my mother making something similar when I was a child, and it's very easy to make and doesn't make much washing up either. Boiling the fruit makes it plump and juicy and the cake keeps well in an airtight tin for a week or so.
Boiled Fruit Cake
4oz. butter or margarine (butter tastes better, marg. is cheaper)
4oz. brown sugar
8oz. mixed dried fruit
1/4 pint water (or milk or even orange juice)
9oz. self-raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon ground mixed spice (or 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger & cinnamon)
1 beaten egg
Flaked almonds or granulated sugar for topping
Heat oven to Gas 3 house or Gas 4 boat
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (if silicone loaf tin place a piece of greaseproof paper in the bottom)
Put a medium pan onto scales and zero.
Weigh in butter, sugar, fruit and liquid and slowly bring to the boil on stove.
Stir well then turn the down heat and simmer for 5 mins.
Turn off heat and leave to cool for at least half an hour (but don't leave too long or the butter will start to set)
Put the pan back on the scales and zero.
Weigh in flour and add the mixed spice.
Mix well then add the beaten egg to make a thick batter-like consistency.
Chop the marzipan into small chunks about 1cm and fold into the mixture
Pour into the baking tin and sprinkle the top with either brown sugar or flaked almonds.
Bake for about 1 hr 30 mins or until the top is springy and trhe cake is coming away from the sides. Prick with a skewer (I use a knitting needle) and if it comes out clean the cake is done. If not, put back in oven and test again in 10 mins.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins. then tip out carefully and leave to cool on a wire rack.