Can I substitute coffee for the Tia Maria in the Chocolate Fruit Cake? I plan on icing it for Christmas.
Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake (from FEAST) is made with Tia Maria as this liqueur is coffee-flavoured and coffee tends to enhance the flavour of chocolate. The fruits are simmered in a mixture of Tia Maria, butter, sugar, honey and orange juice. If you are able to use alcohol then you could use another coffee-flavoured liqueur, such as Kahlua.
If you are unable to use alcohol then black coffee would be the best alternative. Use a regular strength coffee rather than a strong espresso. You could use extra orange juice but this will change the flavour of the cake slightly. The cake will keep for up to 2 weeks in a cool, dry place, wrapped in a double layer of greaseproof paper (parchment paper) and a layer of foil. For longer storage we suggest freezing the cake for up to 3 months. The cake can be iced, but as the top tends to sink slightly it is best to turn the cake upside down so that the flat, smooth base becomes the top of the cake.