Christmas comes early

12 Nov

Today’s task was making this year’s Christmas cake. I meant to do it weeks ago but haven’t been able to dedicate four hours of my life to the kitchen until today.
Last year I used a Delia Smith recipe but this time I spotted one in the Asda magazine so thought I’d give it a go.
And, despite almost forgetting to add the flour and somehow accidentally stopping my timer halfway through, leaving me to guess when it was ready, it looks pretty good – albeit slightly darker than the cake in the photograph!

In case you’re looking for a recipe, here’s the one I used:

-200g butter;
-200g dark brown soft sugar;
-1tbsp black treacle;
-4 medium eggs;
-100g glacé cherries;
-2tsp mixed spice;
-900g Whitworths fruit mix;
-finely grated zest of one lemon and one orange;
-225g plain flour, sifted;
-50g ground almonds;
-50g flakes almonds (although I decided not to use these);
-50ml rum or brandy (I chose brandy, French to be precise!)

1. Preheat oven to 150C and line a 24cm round deep cake tin with treble-thickness baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, treacle and butter until soft.

3. Gradually beat in eggs then quarter the glacé cherries and add to the mixture along with mixed spice, mixed fruit and zest. Stir until combined.

4. Fold in the flour, almonds and rum/brandy then spoon mixture into cake tin and level off the surface.

5. Bake in centre of oven for 2 hours then reduce temperature to 140C and cook for another 1 hour 30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
6. Leave to cool in the tin for an hour then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
7. When cool, prick the surface and spoon over 2tbsps rum/brandy. Repeat this step every 2 weeks until ready to ice.

8. Wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool, dry place for at least a week before icing or eating.


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