Saturday, 18 October 2014

HOW TO MAKE CHRISTMAS CAKE


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Its that time of year again when thoughts are starting to turn towards Christmas and all that lovely food I am going to prepare (and eat).

I make a Christmas cake very year as it is now a family tradition and I enjoy making them too.  At the moment I am just going to make the fruit cake and will think about decoration later in the season.

This recipes is for a rich Christmas cake and will serve 12 people. 

INGREDIENTS

100g / 3.5 oz dried figs, chopped250 g / 9 oz dried mixed berries
100 g / 3 oz dried cranberries
100 g / 3.5 oz glace cherries, chopped
250 g / 9 oz dried mixed fruit
1 large hand stem ginger, chopped
1 orange, juice of
225g / 8 oz self raising flour
225g / 8 oz dark brown sugar
250 g / 9 oz butter
4 eggs
1 table spoon dark treacle
1 cooking apple, peeled and grated
100 ml Marsala
100 ml brandy
50 g / 2 oz chopped nuts
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


METHOD

Place all the fruit and ginger into a large mixing bowl.  Add the brandy, Marsala and orange juice and allow to soak for a few hours, preferably overnight.


Mix together the butter and sugar until creamed.  Gradually add the egg with a spoonful of flour (to prevent it from curdling). Beat the egg in.  Fold in the flour and spices.  Add the soaked fruit and juice, and mix well. Stir in the nuts, treacle and apple.

Line a deep, 8" cake tin with greaseproof paper and spoon in the mixture.  Level and make a hollow in the centre of the top to allow the cake to cook flat.

Put in a preheated oven set to gas mark 2/150C for 3 hours.  The cake is cooked when a skewer comes out clean when placed in the centre. 

Turn on to a wire rack to cool.  Remove paper.  

You can store your cake for many months prior to the Christmas, in fact it tastes better if it is left to age a little.  

Wrap the cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper. Cover with a double layer of tinfoil and place the wrapped cake in an airtight container.  Store in a cool and dry place until you are ready for decorating.

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