Recipes

Traditional English Christmas Cake

traditional English Christmas Cake

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.

DSCN5572-768x1024I’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.

Traditional English Christmas Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1kg Mixed dried Fruit
  2. 100g dried, pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  3. 50g dried figs, roughly chopped
  4. 100g dried Cranberries
  5. 2 balls Stem Ginger in Syrup, grated, plus 1 tbsp of the syrup
  6. 1 orange, zest & juice
  7. 175ml Brandy
  8. 175g Unsalted Butter, cubed
  9. 175g Dark muscovado Sugar
  10. 200g Self Raising flour
  11. 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves
  12. 4 medium Eggs, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and cool for a couple of minutes. Add the flour, spices and egg, mixing well.
  5. 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.
  6. Wrap cake in plastic wrap and then foil. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. Cake can be served plain or if you are artistic and motivated, get out the fondant or royal icing and go to town.
Nurtured Ground http://nurturedground.com/

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