Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Christmas Cake

We know, we know it's only November, however we thought it would be great to share a traditional Christmas cake recipe with you all as you can make them in advance and store them for when the festive period comes around. They're perfect for when the family visit or even to give to friends as a gift. Here's how you can create you're own....

Make & Mature Christmas Cake

Serves 12-15 slices | To prepare 25 mins To cook 2hrs 10 mins + cooling

  • 1kg mixed dried fruits (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 150ml brandy , Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g pack butter , softened
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. 
  • Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. 
  • Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
  • Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside - tie with string to secure.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. 
  • Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. 
  • Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.
  •  Don't feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.
Tip- Stir up Sunday- Get ahead for Christmas by making this cake on Stir-up Sunday. It's the last Sunday before Advent, is the traditional start of the Christmas season, and falls on 25 Nov in 2012. 

Get into the Christmas spirit early, we promise you its worth it!!!



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