We have been giving Christmas cakes as presents for over twenty years now. The basic recipe has remained the same, but we have
fiddled with it in that time. The smaller portion keeps adding to the list of recipients. I am not certain how many we are making this time, but have now made seven and have the fruit soaking in booze for the next batch (which will include a medium sized cake and five or six smaller ones). Having made the cake we water it on alternate nights with caps full of rum and brandy. The alcohol the fruit was originally soaked in disappears in the cooking process. Not so the additions. Hence the cake you have when you are having a drink. It is seriously rich and I think that if you had a big slice you would be some danger from the breathalyser bus.
|Booze soaked ingredients|
In a recent post about the glories of fine healthy salads (which somehow got derailed) Spectra
indicated that she would like the recipe. Lou
has also expressed an interest.
So here it is.
Traditional Christmas Cake
200g (6.6oz) raisins
200g (6.6oz) sultanas
200g (6.6oz) currants
100g (3.3 oz) glace cherries
100g (3.3 oz) chopped mixed peel
100g (3.3 oz) slivered almonds
about 250g (8.3 oz)of the marmalade of your choice - which works out to 1/2 a jar
300g (10oz) Wholemeal Plain Flour
60g (2oz) Wholemeal Self-raising Flour
250g (8.3 oz )Soft Brown Sugar (I use about 125g brown sugar and the same of dark brown sugar)
250g Butter (8.3 oz) (plus a generous extra lump for luck)
5 Large Eggs
3/4 cup Brandy/Rum/Orange juice (whichever you like - we go the mixed rum and brandy route)
1 dessertspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon]
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
approx 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Prepare the fruit at least the day before and preferably a week or so before you make the cake. Mix all the fruits together, including the almonds and the marmalade and half the brandy/rum/ combination. Cover the mixture and set it aside until you are ready. This year we have also been adding generous handfuls of dried cranberries to the mixture - it is a remarkably forgiving cake.
The cake tin you use needs to be both greased and lined with greaseproof paper - extending the paper over the sides of the tin.
Melt the butter over a low heat. Stir in the brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift the flour and the spices.
Add a little of the flour and spices to the fruit mixture alternately with the melted butter, starting with the flour. Lastly stir in the rest of the brandy/rum and vanilla essence. The mixture should be stiffish, but not stodgy.
I have made it in a variety of cake tins, which should not be filled more than 2/3rds the way up the sides.
Cook in a slow oven (150C or 300F) until a skewer comes out clean. Add a cap full of your chosen alcohol(s) as soon as you remove the cake(s) from the oven and stand on a cake rack until it is cool.
When the cakes have been cooked and cooled we water them with alcohol a capful at a time at least every second night. Yes, they are a bit of a pain to make, but they are worth the effort - and they keep really well too.
|Large and two small(ish) cakes|
|Meduim sized cake|