Macadamia Christmas Fruit Cake Baked in a Timber Box

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Please note that you do not preheat the oven for this recipe, as the cake goes into a cold oven when using a timber cake box.

Ingredients:
65g butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup raw sugar
500g mixed fruit
200g glace cherries
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
30ml sherry or rum
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup raw macadamias (small halves or pieces)
1/2 cup raw medium size macadamia halves

Equipment: One 13 x 13cm seasoned timber cake box from the Timber Cake Box Company

Method:
1. In medium size saucepan place the butter, milk, raw sugar, mixed fruit, mixed spice, nutmeg and half the glace cherries. Combine over medium heat and stirring, bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

2. While the fruit mix is simmering, combine the sherry or rum and bicarbonate soda.
3. Remove fruit mix from the heat and let it cool slightly. Add the sherry/rum and bicarbonate soda mix to the fruit and combine. The mixture will froth up initially.

4. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool. (To speed things up I put it in the freezer and stir it every 5–7 minutes until cool).
5. Line the cake box with non stick baking paper. You can follow the instructions to line the timber box, but I found them to be too fiddly so I cut two 15cm wide pieces of a 30cm wide roll of non stick baking paper and placed the paper in a cross shape in the box with the long edges of the paper overlapping at corners.

6. Add egg, nuts and fold in sifted flours to the cooled fruit mixture and combine. The mixture will be thick.

7. Spoon into the cake into the lined timber box evenly and smooth top.

8. Place macadamia halves (face down) and remaining glacé cherries alternately over the top of the cake until it is completely covered.

9. Place cake on middle shelf of the oven and turn oven on to 150°C and bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the macadamias are just starting to brown.

10. Cover top with baking paper (I wrap a big piece of baking paper around the cake box) and continue to bake for another 45-50 minutes or until cooked and tested with a cake skewer and the skewer comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.

11. Cool cake completely in box before removing. If it isn’t all eaten first, then the cake will keep in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 4 months.  If it is a hot summer, it is best to store the cake in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator.

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