Mango and macadamia fruitcake
What could be more delicious than adding an Aussie mango to a traditional dessert? This fancy twist on a fruitcake is the perfect centrepiece for your Christmas dessert table!
250g dried mango, roughly chopped
150g dried pineapple pieces, roughly chopped
100g dried cranberries or cherries
1/4 cup Sunbeam Australian Currants
1 cup Sunbeam Australian Macadamia Halves, toasted, roughly chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup spiced rum (or orange juice), plus extra 1/4 cup, for brushing
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
250g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
4 free-range eggs
1 ripe pineapple, skin removed
Sliced mango, fresh cherries, and silver and gold cachous, to decorate
1/2 cup whole macadamias
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
Approx. 20 long wooden skewers
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp molasses, or more, to taste
2 cups icing sugar
Combine dried fruit, nuts, zest and rum in a bowl. Cover, refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 140°C fan-forced (160°C conventional). Grease and line a deep, 20cm round cake tin, or an 8-hole 3/4-cup capacity Texas muffin pan with paper liners.
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in coconut.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, sugars and molasses until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beat until fluffy and combined.
Fold in flour mixture, then fold in dried fruit mixture.
Spoon batter into prepared tin(s). For 20cm cake, bake for 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean. For muffins, bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Brush warm cake or muffins with reserved rum. Cool completely before removing from tin.
Meanwhile, for pineapple flowers, reduce oven to 70°C fan-forced (90°C conventional). Remove pineapple ‘eyes’ with spoon or melon baller, then slice pineapple finely with a sharp knife or mandolin. Put slices on a tray lined with paper towel to absorb moisture.
Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Arrange pineapple on trays, bake for 2 hours, flipping occasionally until dry to touch and starting to colour at edges. Cool on tray until firm.
For Toffee macadamias, gently insert wooden skewers in macadamia tops (don’t pierce all the way through). In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and water on low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, cook, not stirring, for 5-7 minutes or until mixture turns dark caramel.
Remove from heat and immediately put in bowl of iced water to stop cooking. Cool for 1-2 minutes until caramel thickens. Put a baking paper-lined tray in a clean sink and put a heavy wooden chopping board on side of sink. Using one skewer at a time, dip a macadamia into caramel, then put skewer under board, allowing macadamia to hang over sink and drip onto tray to set.
Repeat with all the macadamias, reheating the caramel on stove on low if needed.
For Molasses buttercream, beat butter and molasses together until smooth, then gradually beat in icing sugar until pale and fluffy.
Decorate cooled cake(s)
How to decorate your fruitcake:
STEP 1 To remove skewers, once toffee sets, gently rotate each skewer to loosen and pull out.
STEP 2 Pipe buttercream onto cake in small sections, leaving gaps.
STEP 3 Roll up one mango slice, then wrap additional slices around, one by one, until you reach the rosette size desired. Arrange mango rosettes and pineapple flowers on cake, leaning on buttercream.
STEP 4 Fill gaps with cherries, toffee macadamias and lastly, cachous.
Note: in addition to the 30mins preparation time listed above, there is also a 1 hour period of soaking fruit required in this recipe.
What is the difference between fruit cake and Christmas cake?
Christmas cake is usually made in a pudding style, while a fruit cakes base is butter and dried fruit. In some countries, the name of Christmas cake is interchangeable with fruit cake.
Why do people make fruit cake for Christmas?
Fruit cake was traditionally made as a ceremonial celebration cake after the harvest. As many Christmas traditions are borne from pagan rituals, this one is no surprise!
What is traditionally hidden in Christmas cake?
A coin is traditionally hidden in Christmas cake. Similar to hiding a coin in Christmas pudding, it represents good fortune for the new year. The person that receives the coin in their slice will be blessed with financial luck.
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