...stuff about life, loves, happiness and cake; and dedicated to the man who called me "Fred" just because he could.
The following is an evolution of my grandmother’s simple Xmas cake recipe.
It evolves every year depending on feedback so after 9 years of Christmas cake baking it’s pretty special.
1) Prepare the fruit
Mix all the following together in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to soak for 12 hours. Stir a few times to make sure even coverage:
100g diced dried figs
100g glace cherries
150g candied peal
100g diced dried apricots
100g diced (stoned) dates
250g dried Sultanas or currants
100g dried cranberries
As much brandy as you think your family can handle (you will be giving it more), I do a couple of good glugs to get it going
Juice and Zest of one Orange
Juice and Zest of one Lemon
Extra Orange Juice, fresh, 1 big glass.
Half fresh ground nutmeg
Teaspoon Mixed Spice
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
2) Prepare the Cake mix
Mix together wet ingredients:
Cream together 4oz (115g) Margarine (I use salted, but if you use unsalted remember to add a pinch of salt to the dry ingredients) with 8oz (230g) Dark Sugar until light an fluffy
Whisk together 4 eggs and then mix into the butter cream one spoon at a time
Separately seive 8oz (230g) self raising flour with some fresh nutmeg (to taste) and 1.5tsp Baking powder
Fold (to keep the air in the flour) the seived dry ingredients into the whisked wet mix. Do not beat together as you will beat out all the air.
Fold in the stewed fruit mix, make sure to get all the juices. Add 1.5 Tbsp of Black Treacle (Golden Syrup or normal treacle will do if you can’t find the black stuff)
Add 100g almonds, 100g walnuts, 100g pecans (chopped or whole depending on your nut preferences!)
3) Bake the Cake
Set oven to 140’c,27f’f or Gas Mark 1.
Line a suitably sized cake dish with greaseproof/silicone paper, make sure the paper is double thickness and comes above the rim of the tin a few inches.
Pour in mix and ensure evenly spread.
Place a circle of double thickness of greaseproof/silicone paper (with a small hole in the middle) over the mix to protect it.
Bake to 4 hours and DO NOT OPEN OVEN until at least this time has elapsed
After 4 hours check for readiness by gently touching the top if it springs back it’s probably done. If in doubt check by skewering centre and testing for wet mix on the skewer. An extra 30 mins might not harm if you fancy it.
Take out and cool.
4) feeding the cake
I prep my cake at least 5 weeks before Christmas (nowish) and then wrap in foil and place in a safe place.
Every few days take out and prick the base with a fork.
Pour two capfuls of brandy evenly over the surface and then re-wrap and place safe again.
Keep doing this to taste - if you don’t like it boozy do this only once a week.
I mix up a thick royal icing (egg white, lemon, vanilla and icing sugar) one week before Christmas.
I place a thin layer of almond marzipan stuck to the cake with bitter marmalade.
I then pour only a little icing on the top (not all over the sides - but if it dribbles down it looks dead cool) and fork into icy peaks.
Then decorate with fresh holly and a few left over whole nuts and cherries.
As it’s not iced yet, here’s a picture of the cake in it’s foil ready for feeding.
Why doesn’t Tumblr have a “smell” post option?