Even if the recipe isn't that old, Christmas Cake is definitely one of our family traditions, with everyone in the house getting a stir and a wish. There is also the element of delayed gratification, as a rich fruitcake like this is best made a couple of months before Christmas.
You will need:
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g dark brown sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp marmalade
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs, lightly beaten
800g mixed dried fruits (usually sultanas, raisins and currants)
100g mixed peel
150g glace cherries, halved
100g blanched almonds, chopped
Also a 7 inch square tin (or 8 inch round) and preheated oven at about 150 degrees
How to make:
- Weigh out your mixed fruit, peel and cherries. To make the cake lovely and moist, soak the fruit overnight in lashings of brandy (this bit is optional if you're not into booze in cakes)
- Grease and double-line your tin with baking parchment
- Sieve flour, salt and spices into a bowl
- In another large bowl (I once made this in a clean washing up bowl as I didn't have a mixing bowl big enough) cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the creamed fat/sugar a bit at a time, with a spoonful of flour with each dollop of egg.
- Mix in the rest of the flour thoroughly, add a bit of vanilla essence at the same time
- Now time to add the fruit, tip it all in and mix well until all combined
- Pour the mix into your prepared tin and smooth into corners
- Put in the oven and cook for up to 3 hrs, time will depend on your oven. I find it helps to put a sheet of baking parchment on top of the cake to stop it browning too much.
- Swear and realise that you forgot to include the almonds but decide that it doesn't matter too much as who likes nuts in Christmas Cake anyway?...