This is very low effort and very easy, and it keeps a long time, so perfect to make a week before a party.
1.5 pounds — that is 24 ounces — dried fruit. Can be any dried fruit. I used green, black, and golden raisins plus quartered dried apricots. Use things you like, this recipe is as good as your fruit.
6 fl ounces rum, or 4 fl oz rum and 2 of apple juice
4 ounces butter
4 ounces demarara or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 oz self raising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 oz honey or dark maple syrup
2 oz apple juice
4 oz chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and some cashews, and ground them myself)
Put the dried fruit in a glass bowl, cover with the rum (and apple juice if using) cover, leave for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 150C
Cream the butter and the sugar, whisk in the egg and the honey or syrup, fold in the flour and cocoa and spices, then using the same spoon put in the fruit (and any liquid left in it) and the nuts, and stir.
Put cake cases in 28 muffin tins, or a greaseproof liner in a loaf tin.
Divide the batter between the muffin tins, or pour it into the loaf tin.
Bake for 1 hour (muffins) or 1.5-2 hours (loaf)
Test with the clean knife method.
Cool for 10 mins. Then, using a baking brush, brush the tops of the cake with either rum or maple syrup, as preferred. This seals them and makes them keep better, and also gives them a delicious top. The loaf should be sliced to serve, but the muffins are good as they are.
Keeps well for at least 10 days just in a normal tupperware, and should keep about a month if individually wrapped in foil or clingfilm. They’re fine right away, but actually improve with a few days or a week to mature.