Christmas cake (preparation time 50 minutes plus soaking overnight, cooking time 4.5 hours)
1 lb cyrrants
6 oz sultanas
6 oz raisins
3 oz glace cherries
2 oz mixed peal
2 oz dried apricots, chopped
3 tablespoons brandy
8 oz plain flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon mixed spice
8 oz brown sugar (I use a half and half mix of light and dark muscavado)
8 oz unsalted butter
1 - I love Christmas cake, especially if it is moist because it has been made in advance and fed brandy every week until it is ready to roll in marzipan and icing. I always aim to make my Christmas cake before the end of December. I also always have to phone my Dad and tell him that the cake is on the oven and ask whether he can small it from Scotland!
Here’s what you do:
Step 1 - Soak the fruit in the brandy overnight. Grease and line an 8 inch round and tall cake tin.
Step 2 - 24 hours later, preheat the oven to 140 degrees.
Step 3 - Sift the flour, salt and spices together and put to one side.
Step 4 - Cream the butter and sugar together until a light and fluffy texture has been achieved.
Step 5 - Beat the eggs and then gradually add them to the butter/sugar mix, stirring vigorously. When nearly all of the egg has ben added the mixture may begin to curdle a little. If this is the case simply stir in a little of the flour.
Step 6 - Fold in the flour and spices and then stir in the fruit mixture.
Step 7 - Spoon into the prepared cake tin and put a square of grease proof paper with a 50p sized hole in the middle over the top of the tin.
Step 8 - Put the cake in the oven and do not even think about checking it until it has baked for 4 hours. The cake is likely to need between 4.25 and 5 hours.
Step 9 - To test the cake take it out of the oven and push a skewer through it and then take it out again. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is ready. If the skewer comes out with raw mix or crumbs then more time in the oven is required.
Kitchen implements required:
Large mixing bowl
2 x medium Mixing bowls
8 inch cake tin
mixer (this will produce a better cake).