Stout fruit cake

This rich fruit cake uses a very easy all-in-one method, with very little prep. Adding cocoa for richness works well with stout. Don't hold back on the glacé cherries as the sweetness of them works wonders with a slightly bitter batter.

Stout fruit cake
    1. Preheat your oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Butter and line a deep 20cm/8in round cake tin with baking paper and tie a double layer of paper around the outside too. This will help protect the outside of the cake from darkening too much.

    2. Put the flour, cocoa, mixed spice and baking powder into a bowl with a generous pinch of salt and whisk together.

    3. Put the butter, sugar and stout into a large saucepan. Gently melt together, stirring regularly, until the butter and sugar have melted. Add the dried fruit and orange zest. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Leave to cool a little, then beat in the eggs and fold in the dry ingredients.

    4. Scrape into the prepared cake tin and bake for around 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes. The cake will be done when a skewer comes out clean and it has shrunk away from the sides slightly. You can also check the internal temperature – is should be at least 98C in the centre.

    5. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and wrap well in baking paper or kitchen foil and store in an air-tight tin. Try to avoid eating it for at least a couple of days – this will improve the crumb and allow the flavour to develop.

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