This recipe is a family favourite that goes back one hundred years!
The Cake Batter
Make sure the bowl you’re using to mix the fruit with the cake batter is big enough. You don’t want it slopping all over your counter!
Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss well.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to soak over night.
Grease your pans then line them with paper [waxed or parchment] then grease the paper – set aside. I used 2 – 6″ and 2 – 8″ round pans. The cook time stays the same because all of the pans were 2″ deep.
Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cloves and cinnamon – set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until combined.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.
Beat in molasses and cold tea.
Fold in flour mixture until completely blended.
Add soaked fruit including any Port sitting in the bottom of the bowl. I use my hands because the batter is too heavy for a spoon to handle.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, full to the top, cover and steam for 2 hours. If you don’t have a fruitcake steamer, place a rack, brick or upside down cake pan on the bottom of a deep stock pot. Fill the stock pot with enough water to reach ¼ of the way up the fruitcake pan.
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Place steamed fruitcake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
Remove fruitcake from oven to a cooling rack for 12 hours [TWELVE].
Wrap them in cheesecloth. Sprinkle liberally with Port and seal the cakes in plastic wrap or in plastic storage bags. Once a week, brush the cakes with more Port.