Here we are again! Christmas comes but once a year, so it makes sense to give in, eat the calories and have a great time!
For your Christmas Cake You will need:–
175g/ 6oz raisins
350g/ 12oz glace cherries, quartered
500g/ 1lb 2oz currants
350g/ 12oz sultanas150ml/ ¼ pint of sherry and extra for ‘feeding’
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 lemon
250g/ 9oz organic butter (softened on the back of the Aga)
250g/ 9oz light muscovado sugar
4 free-range eggs
1 tbsp black treacle
100g/ 4oz blanched almonds, chopped
100g/ 4oz self-raising flour
150g/ 5oz plain flour
2 level tsp mixed spice
You will also need
23cm (9 inch) spring form cake tin
How to make the cake
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.
Line a 23cm spring form tin with Bake-o-Glide or grease proof paper cut to size
Preheat your ElectricKit Aga to 140 degrees. If not using an Aga, pre-heat your oven to 140ºC/120ºC fan/gas mark one.
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.
At this point, cover the tin in cling film and leave in the fridge over night.
Next morning place the cake in the simmering oven using the second set of runners down from the top with the cold plain shelf beneath. Bake for at least 5 hours but keep checking throughout to make sure it is not cooking too quickly. If this happens, turn your temperature down to 120 degrees.
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.
What to do next
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.
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.
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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