Christmas cake is traditionally a fruit cake with white icing (or frosting). There is quite enough sugar at Christmas, I think! So my Christmas cake has nuts and cherries on top instead.
dark brown sugar
dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)
some candied peel
spices: cinnamon, nutmeg
brandy or other (optional)
food mixer (optional)
round baking tin
baking paper (optional)
time in oven: one and a half hours
making cake mix
decorating top with nuts and fruit
- Measure out the butter and sugar and .
Then beat in the eggs, then the and the spices.
- Add the dried fruit and the candied peel (cut this up if necessary).
- Sort out a number of the best cherries and almonds, enough to decorate the top of the cake. Cut the rest of the cherries and nuts in half or more (but not too much) and add them to the mix. Stir it thoroughly, but with a spoon rather than using a mixer which might cut up the fruit too much.
- Line the bottom, and possibly the sides as well, of the baking tin with baking paper (this is optional, but makes it a lot easier to get the cake out afterwards). into the tin, levelling it off. In fact, as the cooked cake tends to rise in the middle, make sure that the mix is higher near the edges than in the centre.
- Cut the best cherries that you kept in half. Arrange these cherries and the remaining best almonds in a pleasing pattern on top of the cake.
- Put the tin in the oven without a lid. This needs to cook for about an hour and a half. At the end, the cake should be brown and feel solid in the middle when you gently push at it.
- Gently pour a spoonful of brandy over the warm cake. (This is optional)
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Then turn it out, and leave it for a while to dry off a bit.
- This cake will improve with a little keeping. I make it at the same time as the , then wrap it in greaseproof paper to keep it for Christmas.
- There are several ways that you can add alcohol to this cake (or you can leave it out altogether, of course). You can add it to the mix, or you can soak the dried fruit in it, or you can pour it over the warm cake. Some people carry on pouring in spirit, day after day, until a serious amount of alcohol is there, and of course, this will stay there and not be driven off, as this is after cooking. But I think that's too much alcohol.
© Jo Edkins 2007 -