Last year I posted a blog on Stir Up Sunday with a recipe for Christmas Pudding. Click on this link ‘Christmas Pudding’ if you want to see it.
This Year I’m giving a recipe for Christmas Cake. You may think it’s a bit early but this cake tastes better for a bit of maturing. Put it this way. Last year we made two cakes. We started the second in the Summer holidays it was superb and still lovely and moist (something to do with the alcohol content me thinks!). In fact this year I’m wondering whether to do extra so we have a cake for next Christmas too!
This recipe will give a large 10″ cake and a smaller one. Or you could try two 8″ size tins. It depends on what sort of depth you want on your cake.
You can use whatever dried fruit you like in your cake. I put mainly vine fruits in mine with a little currants and angelica. If you want to push the boat out a few dried Morello cherries and cranberries make a luxurious addition.
Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake
800g Mixed dried fruit
300g nibbed almonds
200g glace cherries
Soak the above in 350ml of port, 350ml brandy and 1 bottle of Kreik overnight (or whatever alcohol you like)
4 medium eggs beaten
zest and juice of 2 oranges
200g melted butter
2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a good grating of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of all spice (pimento)
200g Muscavado sugar
2 tablespoons of black treacle
300g self raising flour
Once your fruit has had it’s alcoholic bath simply put all the ingredients in a very big basin and give a very thorough mix.
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 4.
Grease and line your baking tins/moulds.
Fill your tins leaving at least 3cm gap from the top.
Bake in the oven for 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 40 minutes.
If the top is browning a bit too quickly loosely cover with a little baking parchment.
Too check if the cake is done pierce the centre with a bamboo skewer. The cake is done when the skewer comes out virtually clean.
Leave the cakes to cool in the tin then take out.
Pierce the bottom of the cake with a skewer. Now you can feed your cake with whatever spirit you like! I find Brandy works the best but Whiskey also gives a great result. Simply spoon some alcohol over the cake and let it soak in. This can be repeated every 2 to 3 weeks or every week as it nears Christmas. Once the cake has had it’s first feed, wrap in greaseproof/baking paper then tin foil and then cling film. We keep ours in a cool box in a cool place.
We don’t ice our cake as we tend to enjoy it with a nice slab of vintage Cheddar and glass of wine, Port or Madeira but of course you can cover it with marzipan and icing of your choice or try glazing with some warmed apricot jam and decorating with nuts or glace fruit.
The only hard part I find about making this cake? Waiting until Christmas to eat it!
I wish I could have my cake and eat it now!