Friday, 25 November 2016


“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” - Oren Arnold 

It’s that time of the year again and if you haven’t made your Christmas cake yet (like us, here), you’re leaving it a bit late. This weekend is our last chance, so here it goes, leaving it to mature a few weeks before serving it up at the Christmas table!

Christmas Fruit Cake
1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes, figs, candied citrus peel)
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
150ml brandy, plus extra for feeding
250g unsalted butter , softened
200g light soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g finely ground almond meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1/3 tsp ground mace
100g flaked almond
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Icing of your choice (optional)

Put the dried fruit, zest and juice, brandy, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
Heat fan-forced oven to 130˚C. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of brandy. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp brandy every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Feel free to share a recipe of your own:

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