• Little figgy cakes

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 mins plus extra for soaking


    • 160g (1 cup) sultanas
    • 80g (½ cup) currants
    • 70g (½ cup) dates, pitted and chopped
    • 90g (½ cup) dried figs, chopped
    • 5ml (1 tsp) mixed spice
    • 10ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
    • 170ml (? cup) whisky or brandy
    • 125g butter, softened and chopped
    • 200g (1 cup) brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 225g cake flour
    • 1ml (¼ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
    • 60ml (¼ cup) ground hazelnuts
    • icing sugar, for dusting
    • raspberries, to serve



    Place the sultanas, currants, dates, figs, mixed spice, vanilla and whisky in a bowl, mix well, cover and leave to soak for 6 – 8 hours or overnight.


    Preheat the oven to 150ºC.


    Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.


    Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground hazelnuts over the fruit mixture and mix well, ensuring that all the fruit is coated in flour. Add the butter mixture and stir to combine well.


    Spoon the batter into 6 x 1-cupcapacity (250ml) lightly greased muffin tins. Bake until a skewer comes outclean, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool on a wire rack.


    To serve, dust with icing sugar and top with raspberries.


    A shortcut to marinating the fruit for all these recipes is simply to place the required ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and cook until the liquid has absorbed all the alcohol and the fruit is plump and soft. Allow to cool and proceed with the recipe.