Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Recipe: Christmas Cake

Ingredients for 1 x 10.5 inch shallow cake tin.

Because this uses quite a lot of fruit and I usually have bits and pieces in the cupboard, I like to measure out all my ingredients ahead of making the cake so that I can buy additional ingredients if required, it means you can break up the baking process as it takes a while to cut up all the dates and apricots and it is also a good idea to pick through the other dried fruit to remove any stalks.

Ingredients - 

275g butter
300g sugar
6 eggs
350g flour
pinch of salt
1/2tbsp mixed spice
2 tbsps honey
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsps brandy, or you can use whisky or red wine (for non alcoholic add orange juice)
250g sultanas
250g raisins
175g dates, stoned and roughly chopped
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped,
100g mixed peel
50g ground almonds
little milk if needed

Method -

Line your tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper, this prevents the sides from cooking too much during the long cooking period.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and mixed spice together in a bowl and set to one side.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl or food processor.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the butter mixture.

Slowly add the flour mix, mixing well.

Then add the fruit, honey, and brandy and fold in well. I prefer to do this by hand so that you don't cut up the fruit to much.

If the mixture seems to dry add a little milk.

Pour into you tin and tie an additional double layer of greaseproof around the outside of the tin. This against protects the outside of your cake.

Bake in a preheated oven at 150c for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. After 2 hours if the top of the cake is nice and brown, cut a circle of greaseproof and cover the top of the cake to prevent it from burning. After 2 hours the cake should be firm enough that opening the oven door will not make the cake sink in the middle.

You may also want to check how the cake is doing by inserting a skewer or kebab stick into the cake. Once cooked the skewer should come out of the cake clean, with no mix sticking to it.

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