New Year Cherry Marsala Cake

Since “Christmas Fruitcake” has acquired an unfortunate notoriety, due to an invasion by the soggy door-stop sub-species, my marketing and communication consultants have advised a rebranding. Also, the recipe is new and improved: no glacé cherries or colourized citrus peel.


Ingredients for Step 1

  • Two cups [500cc,500g] of dried cherries, raisins and other dried fruit: mostly cherries, and avoid currants.
  • 3/4 cup [180cc] sweet Marsala
  • 1/2 cup [125cc] water

Ingredients for Step 2

  • 1/2 pound [250g] butter, or alternative like margarine (Canola oil probably works too)
  • 3/4 cup [180g] sugar
  • 1 teaspoon [5g] sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

Ingredients for Step 3

  • 2 1/2 cups[625cc] plain flour with 1 1/2 teaspoon [7g] baking powder [or just combine equal parts plain and self-rising flour]
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten, or substitute


Step 1: T-1 day

The day before cooking, combine the fruit, marsala and water and leave covered over-night (or from morning to evening).

Step 2: T-2 1/2 hours

  • In a largish and preferably deep pot, slowly melt the butter [or alternative] then add the fruit-marsala mixture, sugar, and baking soda.
  • When it starts to boil, reduce heat to achieve a low simmer, and simmer for ten minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. I am impatient, and so speed this process by putting this pot into a wider one with water in it.

Step 3: T-1 1/2 hours

  • Prepare a moderate oven: 350F [160C]. With a gas oven, I highly recommend using an oven thermometer, because their thermostats are often unreliable, and excess temperature can be fatal.
  • Sift the flour [and baking powder] into a large bowl; add the salt.
  • Beat the eggs or substitute.
  • When the fruit mixture is cool, stir it into the flour and then stir in the egg.
  • Pour into a loaf tin, previously rubbed with butter, oil or such (Don’t you hate it when a recipe throws in something that needed to be done earlier?)
  • If perchance your loaf-tin is non-non-stick, line it with oven paper.
  • Bake in moderate oven for about 70 minutes; start check after one hour, and remove when a skewer comes out dry.
  • Don’t have a skewer? Use a spaghetto

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