An anonymous reader left a message saying they'd over cooked their fruit cake, so I thought I'd add some more on this topic.
Firstly, I want to say that where cooking is concerned, let your intuition be your guide. Begin with the aroma of the thing you're cooking - in this instance, the fruit cake. Your cake will release its aroma as it begins to reach completion. That's the time to start checking on its progress!
1. Check the surface of the cake. Is it shiny? Is it sticky? These indicate it's not yet cooked.
2. Pierce the centre with a skewer, pushing all the way to the bottom of the tin. Draw the skewer out and check for raw cake mix. If the skewer is clean, the cake is cooked.
3. Is time up? I've found all my fruit cakes require the full cooking time. I then give them an extra 15 minutes, just to be sure.
4. Is the aroma making you want to get out a Christmas tree and decorate it? Do you feel like bursting out into song? Namely, Christmas carols? If the answer's yes, it's probably because the smell of your cooked fruit cake has weaved its magic spell on you.
5. Failing all else, you can cut a hunk off the cake in question and eat it. THEN you'll know if it's cooked. But you might have to bake another one to replace the cake you ate!
And for those who enquired - yes I have cooked my wedding cake! All three tiers of it. Each tier has been quietly sitting in an airtight container for about six weeks now. We cut one of the spare cakes (there are three) the other week when my parents met my future in-laws. Despite having given up eating wheat and gluten, I tried the cake and was delighted to see it was seriously moist and gooey! It could easily have been consumed with a big dollop of brandy custard!
After the wedding I'll experiment with wheat free cooking. Come back for more great recipes then!