My secret Christmas cake recipe has been kept very securely hidden away for many years but I have to admit i’m feeling a little guilty as I’m having to turn down so many orders as I simply can’t fit in anymore Christmas baking, so the next best thing is to give you my very own recipe, it is the best Christmas cake you will try, I only put in it good delicious ingredients so out with the tough mixed peel piled into shop bought cakes to bring down the price and fill them out and in comes fresh ingredients, brandy soaked fruits and fresh citrus zests.
This recipe makes a deep 6″ round cake or shallower 8″ round cake, i’m a big fan of the deep cake as I tend to go a little over the top with decoration up and around the sides. Christmas is the time to humour my little habits and the one time you can pile on the decoration and bling or in my husband’s opinion get tacky!
- 400g currants
- 200g sultanas
- 200g raisins
- 50g glace cherries
- 3 or more tablespoons of brandy (I like to go boozy to 4-5 plus one for the cook)
- 225g plain flour
- quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- half teaspoon of mixed spice
- 225g salted butter
- 225g soft brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 50g ground almonds
- 1 level dessertspoon of black treacle
- zest of a lemon
- zest of an orange
Method – The key to this cake being moist, boozy and delicious is to prepare and soak your dried fruit in brandy at least 24 hours before baking, as the fruit absorbs the brandy it becomes juicy and plump.
- 24 hours or more before soak the sultanas, currants, raisins and cherries (halved) in the brandy, cover and stir occasionally
- The next day pre-heat your oven to 140c
- Line the base and sides of your tin with baking paper and wrap some around the outside of the tin secured with string, this will stop it burning during a long cooking process, you can also place a newspaper on the oven shelf then place your cake to bake on top to give the bottom extra protection.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
- Add the beaten eggs a little at a time and beat, the mixture will split but as soon as you add the flour it all works out, don’t panic.
- Fold in the flour and spices.
- Add the black treacle and mix thoroughly.
- Grate the lemon & orange zest into the bowl containing the dried fruit.
- Add the ground almonds to the dried fruit and stir, this will coat the fruit and stop it sinking to the bottom.
- Add the fruit to the rest of the cake mixture and stir.
- Pour into your tin, it will look a lot of mixture but a fruitcake doesn’t rise much so the height it goes in the oven is pretty similar to end result.
- Half way through baking place a disc of baking paper on top to stop it burning.
- Cook for between 3.5-4 hours but is highly dependant on your oven.
- Once cool wrap in baking paper then in a double layer of foil and store in a dark cool place.
I usually make my Christmas cakes a couple of months before so that every 3-4 weeks I can give it a wee feed of Brandy and just check the quality of the Brandy myself, its a tough job but someone has to do it.