The Mutant Manor House Fruit Cake.

Many’s the time I’ve bought a pudding purely because of one particular slice. Perhaps you know what I mean: you’re perusing a stall or baker’s unsure of what to buy, until you see that someone has gone AWOL with the cake knife producing a portion that rivals all the others.

That’s the one I go for. Every time.

It happened to me with the famed Kooky Slice. And it happened to me again yesterday, this time with a Manor House Fruit Cake.

That’s a dinner plate behind it by the way…

Compared to the other portions for sale (all rather demure and polite-looking), this slice alone was monstrous – not only in the size department, but also in terms of goo. It looked like the best kind of blondie: extremely moist and sealed with a thin crust of sugary cake.

Instead of great chunks of chocolate, however, this damp slab was packed with sultanas. It was almost as if a Milkybar had mated with an Eccles Cake, producing an offspring that melted right out of the womb.

Even the woman who sold it – the self-proclaimed Queen of Cakes, no less – declared that the piece was outrageous.

I was in love.

The Man and I cradled our baby mutant all the way home, watching it ooze in its paper bag, convinced we had come up trumps. We had bought things from the Queen of Cakes at Marylebone before (her zingy Courgette Cake has rocked our world on more than one occasion). But this – this – well…

I’m almost lost for words.

You know how much I love goo by now, Ogglers – it’s no wonder I was getting in a tizz. Even so, I was still a little unsure of what to expect.

I’ve never had a Manor House Fruit Cake before, you see. I have had a lot of ‘normal’ Fruit Cake (especially over Christmas), and it’s never been my favourite (too heavy, too dry, etc, etc).

Thankfully, this was completely different. Flavoured with zest and laden with juicy sultanas, I swear that I ate more than one of my five-a-day in just half a slice. The texture was ideal for a goo-fiend too – pretty much lightly-baked cake batter with a crispy sugar top.

The only thing holding it back from becoming a Pud-Hog-Gold-Star-Champion-Classic was the amount of sweetness involved. All that dried fruit and crystallised sugar would have sent me over the edge had I eaten the whole thing.

Deary me. This feels rather strange to admit, but here I go…

For the first time in living memory, I was actually pleased to be sharing.

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