A couple of people have asked me for my Christmas cake recipe, there are lots of different versions kicking about but this is the one I do:
1 kg mixed dried fruit (cheapest of the cheap own supermarket brand in my case)
100g glacé cherries
100g chopped walnuts
400ml liquor (anything you want, brandy is traditional, but I didn't have any, so used some rum)
180g dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons black treacle
300g plain flour
150g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
23cm cake tin
1) put all the fruit and cherries in a bowl and pour over the liquor of your choice. Cover with cling film for as long as you can, up to a week, but certainly not less that 24 hours. You want the liquor to be absorbed.
2) preheat oven to 150 degrees C and prepare the cake tin, you want it greased and lined with greaseproof paper (double thickness) and have it coming up the sides at least twice as high as the cake tin.
3) Cream together the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs one at a time and mix them in then beat in the treacle.
4) Sift the dry ingredients together then mix the soaked fruit alternatively with the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly.
5) Fold in the walnuts.
6) Put the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for between 2 and three quarters and 3 and a quarter hours. put in a skewer to check it is cooked - it should come out clean (ish)
7) When the cake comes out, sprinkle on a couple of teaspoons of some liquor and wrap it up, in it's tin, in a clean tea towel - this helps keep the top moist.
8) When it is completely cold you can remove it from the tin and peel off the greaseproof paper. Double wrap in foil and store in an airtight tin or tupperware for at least 3 weeks before you do the next stage. I will not do the next stage on mine until December.
Feeding the cake.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of liquor on the cake once a week, turning it each time so you are alternately sprinkling both sides.
After it has 'matured' you want to wrap it in marzipan, using a jam glue and then ice it with Royal icing and decorate. I'll be doing this in December so you can check back how I get on.
Here it is for now.
If any of you try it, do let me know how you get on.