Chocolate Fruit Cake (UK)

Nigella Lawson Recipe

Makes: about 10 slices

350 grams prunes
250 grams raisins
125 grams currants
50 grams piece candied orange peel
175 grams soft unsalted butter
175 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
175 millilitres runny honey
125 millilitres tia maria or other coffee liqueur
2 – 3 oranges (juice and zest)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
4 tablespoons cocoa
3 large eggs (beaten)
150 grams plain flour
75 grams ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/150°C/300°F. Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm / 8-inch round, 9cm / 3½ inch deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Before proceeding any further, read the following which explains how to do it if you need the encouragement. The paper should come up higher than the sides of the tin; think of a lining that’s twice as deep as the tin. Cut out two circles of paper, and two very long rectangles that will fit along the sides of the tin coming up from it like a top hat. Before you put the rectangular cut-out paper in, fold one long side in of both pieces, as if turning up a hem of about 2cm / 1 inch, and then take some scissors and snip into this hem, at intervals of about 2cm / 1 inch – as if you were making a rough frill. Grease the tin, lay one circle on the bottom and get one of your long pieces, then fit with the frilly edge along the bottom, which you press down to sit flat on the circle to hold it in place. Press the paper well into the sides, and repeat with the second piece. Now place the second circle of paper on the bottom of the tin, but on top of the two pressed-down frilly edges, which will also help to hold the pieces around the edge in place. Finally, wrap the tin with brown parcel paper, again making it higher than the sides, and tie it in place with kitchen twine.
Put the fruit, butter, sugar, runny honey, Tia Maria, orange juice and zests, spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan and bring to the boil gently, stirring as the butter melts. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes are up, it will have cooled a little (though you could leave it for longer if you wanted). Add the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, however you like, to combine.
Pour the fruit cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for 1¾–2 hours, by which time the top of the cake should be firm but will have a shiny and sticky look. If you insert a cake tester into the centre of the cake it will still be a little gooey in the middle.
Put the cake on a cooling rack. It will hold its heat and take a while to cool, but once it has, unmould it from the tin and, if you don’t want to eat it immediately (and like any fruit cake it has a very long life), wrap it in baking parchment and then in foil and place in a tin.

Berries and Cream Pie


1 easy pie crust, refrigerated

Cream filling:

2 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp butter, softened
2 tbsp sugar

Leftover blackberry and strawberry fruit filling from Mini Pies (I blended mine and sieved out the seeds).

Pan: Small Ceramic Bowl THAT IS OVEN SAFE


  1. Roll out pie crust to 1-2 mm thin. Make it big enough to fit in the bottom and sides of your ceramic bowl. Fold excess dough under. Pleat the pie circle nicely without lumps so it bakes evenly.
  2. Top with well mixed cream filling.
  3. Top with fruit filling.
  4. Top with pie crust, crimp edges with a fork.
  5. Bake 350 F for 35 min.
  6. Enjoy!


Wimbledon Strawberries and Cream


bowlful of strawberries

3/4 c whipping cream

1/4 c sugar


1. Mix strawberries and sugar.

2. Top with liquid, unwhipped whipping cream.

3. Enjoy!

Strawberry Pie

Recipe (a more exact one) will be added if anyone is interested, otherwise I’m just posting pictures.

Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Pie – UNBAKED

I used two crusts from my “Easy Pie Crust” recipe (also on this blog).

I mixed strawberries (one big carton) and blackberries (three small cartons) with corn starch, sugar, a twist of lemon, and a dash of salt, and let it sit for an hour.  TASTE YOUR BERRIES. If they are tart (and I was baking in the off season, so of course the berries were tart), add more sugar. If they are sweet, add less sugar.

Baked at 350 F for about an hour (55 minutes, I think).

Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Pie
Strawberry Pie

Served with whipped cream (my recipe: whipping cream, vanilla extract, bourbon (optional – Maker’s Mark), and sugar (confectioner’s)). Beat on high speed until fluffy and awesome. DO NOT OVERBEAT – otherwise you will make butter (if you do this by accident, don’t throw it out, that’s wasteful — sub it in for oil or butter in a recipe for cake or bread or scones or cookies or biscuits).

Otherwise serve with Haagen Daaz (yes, I’m specifying the brand, because it DOES matter) Vanilla Ice Cream.

Enjoy with a stiff coffee.

Blackberry Hand Pies

Adapted from: A Cozy Kitchen

Yield: 12 pies
Keeps well: About 3 days at room temperature (in CHICAGO!!! YMMV!!)

Rye Pie Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen, grated
3/4 cup water, cold, divided

6 ounces blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca starch or potato starch
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg beaten with a splash of milk or water (for egg wash)


1. Make Dough by mixing all dough ingredients together. Let chill overnight.

2. Make Filling by mixing all ingredients in a saucepan and cooking on medium heat for five minutes.

3. Roll dough into 1 mm thickness. Cut out 3 inch diameter circles. Add 1 tsp blackberry filling into center of circle. Fold over, crimp with fork. Brush with egg wash.

4. Bake on silpat, 400 F for 15 min. Enjoy!


4. You can deep fry these pies also, the way McDonald’s apple pies used to be. They are AMAZING fried. Heat around 3 inches of oil on medium heat, fry each side for about 3 minutes. Enjoy!