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Traditional Rich Christmas Cake

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
350g Sultanas
350g Raisins
100g Glace Cherries
50g Good quality mixed peel Don't use dried up cheap peel! Omit or use chopped prunes or dates instead.
75g Chopped dried figs You can use prunes or dates instead.
6 tablespoons Whiskey, Brandy or Rum You could use fresh orange juice or a mixture of alcohol and OJ.
225g Butter, soft
225g Soft brown sugar
4 Eggs
300g Plain flour, sieved
1 Lemon zest
1 Orange zest
100g Ground Almonds
100g Flaked or chopped almonds You can substitute with your favourite ones nuts.
3/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1/2 Nutmeg Freshly ground or good quality powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground cloves

Nutritional information

200 kcal/836 kcal
Calories
28g
Carbohydrates
7g
From sugar
1.8g
Fibre
8.5g
Fat
3g
Protein

Traditional Rich Christmas Cake

Features:
  • Contains Dairy
  • Contains Eggs
  • Contains Gluten
  • Contains Tree Nuts
Cuisine:
    • Serves 40
    • Medium

    Ingredients

    Directions

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    I used to make traditional fruit cakes for weddings and special occasions in a previous life. I really enjoyed icing and decorating the cakes and spent many hours mulling over how to achieve a certain colour icing or design. While there is a huge variety of celebration cakes available now,  I think a well-made fruit cake has an air of ‘special occasion’ about it. It can be made well in advance, don’t need special treatment unlike sponge cakes, which makes them ideal for transporting to a venue.

    This cake is made in two stages – weigh and steep the fruit in alcohol overnight or longer. This part of the recipe could be done one weekend and the cake baked the next. This recipe makes an 8″ (20cm) round cake. You can increase or decrease the quantities by selecting a larger or smaller number of servings (button on top of the ingredient list) and the ingredient quantities will change automatically.

    This is the traditional recipe I used for Christmas, special birthday and anniversary cakes. Plenty of carbs, but it is rich and flavoursome so a small portion is enough.

    It’s essential to use good quality ingredients for this cake.

    Steps

    1
    Done

    Marinate the fruit

    Check over the dried fruit and remove any stalks. Chop figs, dates or prunes if using. Wash the cherries to remove the sugary coating and cut them in half.

    2
    Done

    Place all the fruit in a lidded container or ziplock bag (a container is more eco friendly). Pour the alcohol or juice over and place in a cool place to allow the fruit to soak up the alcohol and become moist. Regularly give the container a shake to redistribute the alcohol. Otherwise the fruit on the top won't get any! Leave overnight or up to a week is even better.

    3
    Done

    Add the lemon and orange zest and the almonds to the fruit mix.

    4
    Done

    Baking day

    Line the tin with a double layer of parchment, making sure not to leave any of the tin uncovered. For larger cakes I wrap brown paper around the outside of the tin and tie it with string. This prevents the sides of the cake getting dry while the centre bakes.

    5
    Done

    Set the oven to 140°C/275ºF/gas mark 1.

    Sieve the flour and spices together and set aside.

    6
    Done

    Add the lemon and orange zest and the almonds to the fruit mix.

    7
    Done

    Cream the butter (needs to be soft) and the sugar together.

    8
    Done

    Gradually add the beaten eggs, about a quarter at a time and stir into the butter and sugar mix. After the first egg add a little of the flour with each egg.

    9
    Done

    Once the eggs have been used, very gently fold in the remaining flour and ground almonds. Be gentle! Overmixing will result in a dry cake.

    10
    Done

    Stir in the fruit mixture, which should have absorbed the alcohol. In the unlikely event that the cake mix seems a little dry, you can add a little orange juice or even a little milk.

    Don't overmix or the cake will be dry.

    11
    Done

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top, leaving a little dip in the centre. Set an alarm to remind you to check the cake!

    Bake at 140°C/275ºF/gas mark 1 for approximately 3 1/2 hours. This will depend on your oven. Avoid opening the oven door until the cake mixture has firmed.

    12
    Done

    To test plunge a skewer or knife into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is baked. If there is mixture on the skewer or knife put the cake back in the oven to bake further.

    13
    Done

    When the cake is baked remove from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin. When cold you can pour a little more alcohol over if you wish. Allow it to dry.

    Wrap the cake in parchment and overwrap with brown paper, tin foil or a large clean towel. Place in a cool dark area until needed. You can feed it with whiskey or brandy (2 tablespoons) every few weeks if you wish it to be super tasty. Make sure to let the cake dry after each addition and wrap it up again.

    14
    Done

    Add the lemon and orange zest and the almonds to the fruit mix.

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