By Sheryl Kirby


Makes 18 large-muffin-sized fruitcakes

3/4 cup diced dried pineapple
3/4 cup diced dried papaya
1/2 cup diced candied ginger
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup medium shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup coconut-rum liqueur (such as Malibu) or pineapple juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup chopped macadamias
9 macadamias, halved, optional
extra liqueur, for brushing (Note: if using juice, do not brush the fruitcakes with additional liquid)

In a medium bowl, stir together the pineapple, papaya, ginger, currants and coconut. Add the coconut-rum and mix well. Cover the bowl; set aside overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with 18 baking cups; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cardamom; set aside.

In a large bowl, add the butter and brown sugar; using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, cream until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the cashews, chopped macadamias and the soaked fruit along with the soaking liquid and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the baking cups, filling each about 3/4 full. If desired, press a macadamia half onto the centre of each cup.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a fruitcake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the fruitcakes from the muffin tins and transfer to a wire cooking rack. Cool the fruitcakes completely. Lightly brush the top of each fruitcake with additional liqueur. Store the fruitcakes in an airtight container to cure, lightly brushing with liqueur about once a week for 5 to 6 weeks.