This is a rich fruitcake style of cake that makes an excellent store-cupboard standby.
Overnight CakeServes: 8–10
Ingredients:225g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
115g (1/2 cup) butter, cubed
115g (2/3 cup) mixed dried fruit
300ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp vinegar
Method:Sift the flour and spices into a bowl. Add the butter then rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Now stir in the dried fruit and just enough milk to yield a soft batter.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar. As soon as this froths stir into the cake batter. Cover the bowl and set aside to soak over night (8 hours).
Grease a shallow 23cm (9 in) diameter cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Spoon in the cake mixture then level the top.
Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 60 minutes or until form to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre emerges cleanly. If the cake looks like it might be getting brown too quickly, over the top with baking parchment and continue baking until cooked.
Allow to cool in the tin for about 18 minutes then turn out and set aside to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve the same day accompanied by slices of crumbly white cheese.
This cake is by far best on the day it is baked as the crust will be crisp.