Tea Soaked Fruit Cake

This is a babushka doll of a recipe; made by Holly Davis, who inspired a version by Amy Chaplin, who in turn inspired my version of this beautiful and very adaptable cake. Use whatever dried fruit and nuts you prefer, just keep the ratio the same as the recipe and it will work every time.

1 x 20cm springform cake tine, lined with baking paper across the bottom

Preheat your oven to 150C.

1 1/2 cups almonds (plus 20-30 for decoration on top)
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups dried figs, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pitted prunes
2 1/2 cups muscatels, or raisins
1 1/2 cups strong Earl Grey tea (No 3 blend)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp quatre spice, or mixed spice
2 tsp vanilla extract
Orange zest from 1 orange
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped

Place all of the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with 1 cup hot tea for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Drain.

Roughly grind the almonds in a food processor, but not so it’s as fine as almond meal; you want it to still have texture in the cake. Place into a large mixing bowl.

Add the drained and soaked fruit to the food processor with the remaining 1/2 cup tea, spices, vanilla and zest, and blitz until almost smooth.

Mix the ground almonds, dried fruit mixture and chopped walnuts together in the large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Turn the mixture out into the prepared cake tin and evenly press the batter into the tin with wet hands or the back of a spoon.

Decorate with the remaining almonds pressed into the top of the cake, and bake for 1 hour or until set. Allow to cool completely before thinly slicing to enjoy with either a pot of tea or as part of a cheese plate.