This year I’d hoped to get away without making a Christmas Cake but amid protests from the family was told that it’s now firmly an expected annual family tradition. Truth be told I do actually enjoy the process. It’s not the baking of it that takes the time but the maturing and icing.
I’ve used this recipes for so many years I can’t honestly remember where I got the original one from or who I give credit to, it’s now written on it’s 4th piece of ingredient stained paper. It’s also the only time of the year I drink brandy….one for the cake and one for me…after all I have to check that it’s not gone off right.
I hope you give this a try as it’s not only a moist and delicious fruitcake but it makes the house smell amazing.
- 1kg Mixed dried Fruit
- 100g dried, pitted prunes, roughly chopped
- 50g dried figs, roughly chopped
- 100g dried Cranberries
- 2 balls Stem Ginger in Syrup, grated, plus 1 tbsp of the syrup
- 1 orange, zest & juice
- 175ml Brandy
- 175g Unsalted Butter, cubed
- 175g Dark muscovado Sugar
- 200g Self Raising flour
- 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves
- 4 medium Eggs, beaten
- Preheat oven to 300F
- Grease & line the sides and base of an 8 inch deep cake tin. Wrap the sides of the tin with brown paper and tie with string to protect the cake when cooking.
- Put all dried fruit into a very large pan. Add the ginger, syrup, orange zest, juice and brandy. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and sugar and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Take the pan off the heat and cool for a couple of minutes. Add the flour, spices and egg, mixing well.
- Pour mixture into tin and level the top. Bake for 2 - 2 1/2 hours. When ready remove from oven, leave to cool in tin for 2-3 hours then remove from tin and allow to cool on wire rack, leaving the greaseproof paper on.
- Wrap cake in plastic wrap and then foil. Store in an airtight container.
- Here's the most important bit: After 2 weeks maturing, prick cake all over with a skewer,sprinkle 1 tbsp brandy over. Leave to soak in & rewrap.
- If I'm really organised I make my Christmas cake at the beginning of November and soak it in Brandy 2-3 times before Christmas (*warning* don't eat and drive if you do this...it's pretty potent)
- Cake can be served plain or if you are artistic and motivated, get out the fondant or royal icing and go to town.