Teeming with dried fruits and perfumed with baker's choice of alcohol, this Christmas Cake is nom-nom-nom. You can make your cake early and feed it every two weeks with your choice of alcohol for an indulgent taste. Enjoy!
Ingredients1kg mixed dried fruit
zest and juice 1 orange
zest and juice 1 lemon
150ml brandy, sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
250g pack butter, softened
200g light soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
100g ground almond
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
100g flaked almonds
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add to large pan mixed dried fruit, zest and juice of orange and lemon, brandy (or other alcohol), butter and brown sugar set over a medium heat.
- Bring to boil, then lower heat, simmer for 5 mins. Tip fruit mixture into large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
- Heat oven to 150C/130C fan. 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 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 cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. 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 alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it (optional).
- Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing. If you don't quite feel up to fully icing, try a mixture of cacao powder and icing sugar dusted over top. Works a treat!