My Favourite Christmas Cake
Make Christmas cake a few months in advance to let the mixture soak, mature & meld together.
- 350 g raisins
- 275 g sultanas
- 275 g currants
- 4 tbsp brandy or port
- 250 g butter, softened
- 250 g dark muscovado sugar
- 350 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 6 eggs
- 50 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 50 g mixed peel
- 100 g Glace cherries, halved
- 100 g pecans, chopped
- 125 g apricot jam
- 2 to 3 tbsp water
- extra glace fruits and pecans for decoration
- Put the raisins, sultanas and currants in a large bowl and pour in the brandy and port. Leave to soak overnight.
- Next day, line and grease a 23cm (9 in) diameter cake tin. Tie a double thickness of brown paper around the outside to come about 4 cm (1 ½ in) higher than the cake.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding some of the flour mixture with each egg.
- Beat in the remaining flour and almonds. Add mixed spice, cinnamon and lemon rind.
- Finally mix in dried fruit and nuts.
- Spoon into the tin and level. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 2 and a half hours (after 1 hour, cover the cake with greaseproof paper), or until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer in the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack and cool and then wrap in aluminium foil and store.
- To decorate, warm the jam and water in a saucepan, sieve and brush some over the cake.
- Alternatively simply warm the apricot glaze and use that instead. Arrange the glace fruits and nuts and brush on more of the glaze. Finally tie a wide ribbon around the cake.