This is a first for me, I have never made a Christmas Cake even though I have plenty in my time.
This was the year for me to make one.
I think I’ve been nervous to attempt it, there are so many good ones around and I’m one of these people that like to try and tweak recipes. With this cake you have to allow to be feed with alcohol so there is no trying or tasting which is quite scary :s.
I really hope when it’s time to try it, it’s yummy and scrummy and there was nothing to worry about…fingers crossed!
I got to say that this cake was so simple to make add all the ingredients in a pan and then add the flour and eggs easy peasy!!! Even if it wasn’t made for Christmas this was an easy cake to make for any occasion.
Soooo the taste test! Everyone was eager to try the cake after months of waiting. After tasting it, I found the cake tasted nice but the cake was really crumbly. I wasn’t sure if it was because I made the cake really early and fed it too much or was just it the recipe? Not sure which it could be?
As you may have noticed I’m not the best cake decorator. I wanted this cake to look simple and elegant, I wanted it to look like snow and added the extra gold sparkle, as you always need a bit of sparkle at Christmas time!
- 175g - butter, chopped - I used unsalted
- 200g - dark muscovado sugar
- 750g - luxury mixed dried fruits (one that includes mixed peel and glacé cherries)
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 100ml/3½ fl oz cherry brandy or brandy plus 4tbsp more
- 85g - macadamia nuts - I used almonds
- 3 - large eggs, lightly beaten
- 85g - ground almonds
- 200g - plain flour
- 1/2 tsp - baking powder
- 1 tsp - ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp - ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp - ground allspice
- 1. In a large saucepan put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. My mixture still seemed juicy but don't worry it needs to be.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line a 20cm round cake tin. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them until evenly browned, or in the oven for 8-10 minutes - keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down evenly - you will find this is easiest with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped into boiling water.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾ hours if you have a gas oven) until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
- Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it's cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or you can freeze it for six months.