Christmas Cake

cake-full-size

If there is only one cake you bake make it your Christmas cake, there is something so special about preparing the cake, the smell while it is cooking, feeding the cake brandy every week, decorating and eating a homemade Christmas cake – YUMMY!!

I soak my fruit over night, so you will need to start this the day before you plan to bake it.  If your plans suddenly change and you don’t get round to baking for a couple of days, this does not matter, just add another tablespoon of brandy every day!

Because there are a lot of ingredients I get them all out and weigh them before I start to avoid missing anything out.

I have spent many years altering my cake recipe to suit what I like in a Christmas Cake. I really hope you like this one too!

You will need:

Day 1

  • 285g Sultanas
  • 285g Raisins
  • 120g Dried Cranberries
  • 120g Glace Cherries quartered
  • Grated zest of one Orange and One Lemon
  • 4tbsp Brandy

Day 2

  • 250g Lightly Salted Butter
  • 250g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Black Treacle
  • 4 Medium Eggs – beaten
  • 230g Plain Flour
  • 1tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • (Plus the soaked fruit from day 1)

Once cooked

  • More brandy for feeding the cake until Christmas.

Method

Day 1

  • In your largest mixing bowl mix together the Sultanas, Raisins, Cranberries, Cherries, orange, lemon zest and the brandy. Place a clean tea towel over and leave so the fruit soaks up the brandy.
  • The next day or at least 12hours later…

fruit-in-brandy

Day 2

  • Preheat the oven to 140degrees, grease and double line a 20cm square tin. Because of the long cooking time of the cake it is best to double line the tin to protect against over cooking the sides.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the black treacle.
  • Add each egg one at a time, just before adding the last egg add a spoonful of flour, this helps prevent the cake mix from cuddling.
  • Fold in the flour, spices and almonds, making sure the fruit is well distributed in the mixture.

cake-mix

  • Pour into the prepared tin making a slight hollow in the centre of the mixture to allow for rising and encourage a flat cake.

in-tin

  • Bake for about 2-3hours with a double layer of baking paper over the top of the tin, but not touching the cake.
  • Always check the cake every hour to ensure the cake is cooking evenly and you are not over cooking. During the last hour of cooking check every 20mins. Your cake may not need the full cooking time, this will all depend on your oven.
  • Allow to cool on a cooling rack of 10mins before turning out to cool completely.

cooling-ake

  • Poke all over the top of the cake with a cocktail stick and pour a table spoon of brandy over the cake.
  • Wrap in baking paper and in a layer of foil and store in a cool dark place.
  • Every week unwrap and feed your cake with a tablespoon of brandy.

A week before Christmas marzipan your cake and allow to dry over night then ice in the style of your choice.

Decorate with Christmas cake decorations and enjoy your day!!

cake-full-size

finished-cake

I always leave the decoration to the children…..

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