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Cherry and Date Fruit Cake

ingredients

serves 8
8 oz (225 g) margarine
3/4 cup (6 oz) 175 g caster sugar (superfine granulated)
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
3 1/2 cups (12 oz) 350 g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Mixed Spice (All Spice / Pumpkin pie spice)
pinch salt
4 oz (110 g) chopped mixed peel
4 oz (110 g) glace cherries, halved, rinsed and dried
4 oz (110 g) dried dates, chopped
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pint cold tea

method

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C) Gas Mk 3.

2. Grease a 7 inch (17.5 cm) square cake tin and line with greased greaseproof paper.

3. Put the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream until light and fluffy.

4. Gradually add the eggs, beating well, then the vanilla.essence.

5. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and salt.

6. Gradually fold the flour mixture and the peel, cherries and dates alternately into the margarine and sugar mixture and then gradually pour in the tea.

7. The mixture should be fairly moist.

8. Transfer to the prepared cake tin, levelling the top and making a slight hollow in the centre of the cake.

9. Bake for about 2 hours until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

10. Leave to cool in the tin before removing the greaseproof paper.

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