Mar 01 2007

Christmas cake

Here’s That Wonderful Old Christmas Cake recipe!

The following quantity makes a big cake, sufficient for a 9”/ 23cm diameter tin. I usually halve everything and use a 7 ½”/19cm tin.

First oil the tin and line sides and base with greaseproof or baking paper. Lightly oil the paper.

Weigh out 275gms of plain flour into a large bowl; add a pinch of salt, ½ teaspoon of mixed spice and ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg.

Weigh out 175gms mixed peel, 175gms chopped glace cherries, 450gms sultanas, 450gms currants and 350gms raisins. Mix the fruit together in a large bowl and coat with a little of the flour.

://s3Soften 275gms butter with 275gms soft brown sugar till light and fluffy; use a food processor if you have one. Add the zest of an orange and a lemon, and 1 tablespoon of black treacle. Beat in 6 eggs one at a time using a little of the flour to prevent curdling. Pour this mixture over the fruit; add the juice of the orange and lemon and 4tablespoons of sherry or brandy. If you prefer not to use alcohol substitute more juice or milk. Gently fold in the remaining flour.

Pour into the prepared tin, level and make a slight hollow in the centre. Tie brown paper around the outside of the tin to prevent the outside of the cake from browning too quickly. Cover the top with two layers of greaseproof paper.

Place in a preheated oven 170c/325f/mark3 for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 140c/275f/mark2 and continue to cook 4-5 hrs; long slow cooking.

The recipe, copied faithfully onto my old brown envelope so long ago, says “when the cake is cooked it will stop singing”! However carefully I listen I prefer to test with a skewer as well! When you are satisfied the cake is indeed cooked remove it from the tin, take off the paper and cool on a wire rack. It will keep for weeks at this stage in an air tight tin.

Finish it with home made Almond Paste and Royal icing.

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