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Cooling Fruit Mixture For Chocolate Fruit Cake

Asked by smp56. Answered on 22nd January 2019

Full question

I wondered, if I leave the Chocolate Fruit Cake mix to cool for longer than 30 minutes before adding the flour etc, might that stop the fruit sinking to the bottom? I've tried cutting the prunes up, as you suggest to another person. Such a delicious cake!

NIGELLA CHRISTMAS UK book cover
Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2
Chocolate Fruit Cake
Photo by James Merrell
Chocolate Fruit Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake (from FEAST) is made using the "boiled method" where the fruits are simmered with butter and alcohol (or alternative liquid) to plump them up quickly. The mixture needs to cool before the eggs and other ingredients are added.

The size of the fruits will be the main factor determining whether they sink or not, so cutting the prunes into small pieces is a good idea. However it is also helpful to let the mixture cool to room temperature, so leaving it for more than 30 minutes is fine (though we suggest leaving it for no more than 2 hours). Also if the mixture is too warm then the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) can activate very quickly and the batter foams up slightly. As the cake bakes the foamy part of the batter rises to the top and tends to cause the fruit to sink to the bottom, though the cake is still delicious to eat. So if you would like to leave the fruit mixture to cool for longer than 30 minutes then that is fine.

PeachMelba Pavlova

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