Baking, Festive, recipes

Christmas cake – a festive cake

Christmas cake

Here we are again!

You will need:

o 175g/ 6oz raisins
o 350g/ 12oz glace cherries, quartered
o 500g/ 1lb 2oz currants
o 350g/ 12oz sultanas
o 150ml/ ¼ pint of sherry and extra for ‘feeding’
o Grated zest of 1 orange
o Grated zest of 1 lemon
o 250g/ 9oz organic butter (softened on the back of the Aga)
o 250g/ 9oz light muscovado sugar
o 4 free-range eggs
o 1 tbsp black treacle
o 100g/ 4oz blanched almonds, chopped
o 100g/ 4oz self-raising flour
o 150g/ 5oz plain flour
o 2 level tsp mixed spice

You will also need
23cm (9 inch) spring form cake tin

How to make the cake
1. Put all the dried fruit in a container with a lid and pour over the sherry. Stir in the zest of both the orange and lemon. Place the lid tight on top and remember to stir daily. Leave well alone for three days minimum but no longer than a week.
2. Line a 23cm spring form tin with Bake-o-Glide or grease proof paper cut to size
3. If not using an Aga, pre-heat your oven to 140ºC/120ºC fan/gas mark one.
4. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a large bowl and beat well.  Add the flours and spice and mix until blended. Now stir in the sherry soaked fruit. Spoon the mix into the cake tin and level the surface.
5. At this point, cover the tin in cling film and leave in the fridge over night.
6. Next morning place the cake in the simmering oven with the grid shelf on the oven floor and the cake on top. Bake the cake for up to 12 hours but for at least five hours. Keep checking through the day.
7. If not using an Aga, bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven for around four hours or until the cake is firm to touch and is a deep golden brown. Check after a few hours and if it is already the perfect colour, cover with tin foil and pop it back in the oven for the remaining time.
8. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When cool, pierce it at intervals with a fine skewer and ‘feed’ with a little more sherry, by drizzling on top of the cake.
9. Wrap the cake in grease proof paper and again in foil. Then store in a cool place for up to three months. The best bit is you need to keep feeding the cake every now and again with more sherry.
10. Now give the fruitcake a nice long rest and cover in almond paste and icing, about two weeks prior to 25th December.

Elley will give one to one tuition on your own AGA and in your home – call 01544 350382 for details

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