Christmas Cake

OK, so it falls short of sky-diving or bungee-jumping, but as I am trying new things I decided it was high time I baked my first Christmas cake.  Considering I spend as much time shopping for food and preparing it as I do sleeping, it’s odd that I haven’t made one before.  My 5 year old son wanted to help and dragged his little step ladder over to the kitchen island to ‘help’.  As he is getting to grips with his maths these days, the digital scales could have been educational, except he decided that all measurements needed to be done to the gram, so the weighing took a while!  Chopping the glace cherries was a thankless task as he ate them as quickly as I could chop them, but we got there in the end.  He helped me mix it all up and best of all the three tablespoons of brandy in the recipe made him turn his nose up at the leftover cake mixture – a bit of a treat for me as I don’t normally get near the bowl.

Top tip I had been given was to tie brown paper folded four times around the outside of the cake tin to stop the cake burning.  Hadn’t heard of that before but it worked a treat!  Pretty pleased with the results.

Picture of Christmas Cake
If you fancy having a go, this is the recipe I used for a 9 inch cake:

Currants 375g
Sultanas 375g
Raisins 250g
Mixed peel 100g
Ground Almonds 75g
Glace cherries 200g
Butter 250g
Dark Brown soft sugar 250g
Eggs 5
Brandy 3 tbsp
Black treacle 1 tbsp
Plain flour 200g
Self Raising flour 70g
Mixed Spice 1tsp
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange

1. Soak and drain the dried fruit and grease and line the cake tin.  Heat oven to 150 C
2. Mix the soaked fruit with the mixed peel, ground almonds, lemon and orange zest and chopped cherries.
3. Sift the flour along with the mixed spice
4. In another bowl cream the butter, sugar and treacle before adding one egg at a time along with a tablespoon of the flour per egg.
5. Fold in the remaining flour and the brandy.
6. Pour the mixture into the tin and then wrap the tin in brown paper that has been folded four times.
7. Cook at 150 Centigrade for 2.5 hours or until a skewer can be inserted and removed clean.
8. Turn the cake out to cool and once cool wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

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