Monday, 25 November 2013

November's bake of the month

No Christmas bunting to show you this week. They're finished but we didn't have time over the weekend to take any photos. They're be up next week - promise !!!!

So rather than not put a blog up I thought I'd share with you my recipe for Christmas cake. I know there are thousands of fruit cake recipes but trust me, you won't be disappointed when you try it.

This cake is perfect for making now or several months in advance. Simply 'feed' it with alcohol every three/four weeks until the end of November, then every week until you're ready to decorate it.

As this is an ancient family recipe all the weights and sizes are in 'old' money. If you want them in metric there'll be lots of sites on-line that will be able to convert it for you.

There's no photo this time. Lets be honest, one fruit cake looks very much like another.. 

Boozy Christmas cake

Ingredients of 7 inch round tin/ 6 inch square tin:
  • 7oz currants
  • 4oz sultanas
  • 2oz raisins
  • 2oz glace Cherries – chopped 
  • 2oz mixed peel
  • 2oz mixed chopped nuts
  • 2 tablespoon brandy/rum or any spirit
  • 5oz plain flour – sieved 
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1oz ground almonds
  • 4oz soft brown sugar
  • 4oz butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 3 eggs 

Ingredients for a 9 inch round tin/ 8 inch square tin:
  • 13oz currants
  • 7oz sultanas
  • 3 ½oz raisins
  • 3 ½oz glace Cherries – chopped
  • 3 ½oz mixed peel
  • 3 ½oz mixed chopped nuts
  • 3 tablespoon brandy/rum or any spirit
  • 9oz plain flour – sieved
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2oz ground almonds
  • 8oz soft brown sugar
  • 8oz butter (softened)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon black treacle
  • 5 eggs

Method:
  • Put all fruit in a bowl then add the alcohol. Give the fruit a good stir then leave overnight.
  • The following day preheat oven to 140º c/Gas Mk 1. Fan oven 130ºc.Line the cake tin with two sheets of baking parchment. You could use greaseproof paper but you must grease it with butter/margarine.
  • Add all the ingredients except for the fruit into a large bowl. Mix well, either with a wooden spoon or a food mixer. Add half of the fruit to the bowl, mix, then add the rest of the fruit and mix again.
  • Scrape the mixture into the tin, making a slight well in the centre of the cake - this will stop the centre from rising. Take hold of the tin and tap it a couple of times onto a hard surface. This gets rid of any air bubbles.
  • Cover the top and sides of the tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper or brown paper.  Bake in the centre of the oven for two ½ hours for cake tin sizes 6 and 7 inch and three hours for cake tin sizes 8 and 9 inch.
  • To check whether the cake is done place a skewer (a knitting needle or piece of spaghetti are ideal) in the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean the cake is cooked. If it’s not, return to the oven for another 30 minutes and check again.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin. When cool pierce the top of the cake all over with a cocktail stick. Drizzle two or three tablespoons of the alcohol you used in the mixture over the cake. Wrap the cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper then a double layer of tinfoil.
  • Leave the cake for one week. Unwrap it, turn it over, then skewer and ‘feed’ the cake again. Repeat the ‘feeding’ process until one week before Christmas. Decorate it in the normal way with marzipan and the icing of your choice.
Gertie xx

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