Pineapple-rum fruitcakes

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

Having both frosting and fondant may seem like overkill, but the initial layer of rum frosting acts as a crumb-coat and helps give a super-smooth finish to the fondant. If fondant isn't your thing, make a double batch of rum frosting and coat the cakes twice, ensuring the first coat is set before you apply the second. Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the fruit.

  • 200 gm (about ¼) pineapple, coarsely chopped
  • 450 gm golden raisins
  • 175 gm sultanas
  • 175 gm glacé pineapple, diced
  • 50 gm each glacé orange and glacé ginger, diced
  • 80 ml spiced rum
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange and 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 260 gm butter, softened
  • 250 gm brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 380 gm plain flour
  • 1½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp each ground cinnamon and ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 kg fondant
  • For dusting: pure icing sugar, sieved
  •  
  • Rum frosting
  • 30 ml each golden rum and lime juice
  • 390 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
01   Purée pineapple in a food processor, transfer to a bowl, add dried and glacé fruit, rum, rinds, juices and fresh ginger, mix well, transfer to a container and soak overnight.
02   Preheat oven to 140C. Butter and line base and sides of six 10cm-diameter cake tins with baking paper. Beat butter, sugar, treacle and vanilla in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (6-8 minutes), scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Sieve flour, spices and baking powder over egg mixture, add ½ tsp salt and fold to combine, then fold in fruit mixture. Divide evenly among cake tins, smooth tops, wrap tins in brown paper, secure with twine, cover with foil and bake on lowest shelf of oven until a skewer inserted withdraws clean (2½-3 hours; uncover to check), then cool in tins. Cakes will keep wrapped in baking paper and foil in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months. Feed every week with a little extra rum if desired.
03   For rum frosting, heat rum and lime juice in a saucepan over low heat until lukewarm, remove from heat, add icing sugar and stir until smooth. Spread thinly and smoothly over cake tops and sides with a palette knife to evenly coat and stand until set (1-2 hours).
04   Knead fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar until smooth and pliable. Divide into 6 even pieces, then roll out each to 3mm-4mm thick. Roll fondant over the rolling pin, then unroll over each cake to cover top and sides with some overhang. Smooth fondant over cake with hands dusted with icing sugar and trim excess. Decorate cakes with extra fondant (we topped ours with a scallop-edged round; fondant stars would be lovely too). Stand cakes to firm (1 hour), then serve or store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until required. Cakes will keep iced for 2 weeks.
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