It’s that time of year again to make your own Christmas cake. Even though I know I can buy a cheap fruit cake from the supermarket and decorate it for Christmas, I love making my own cake and knowing exactly what yummy ingredients have gone into it – so I know what I’ve got to look forward to eating! I know lots of families who bake their Christmas cake during the half-term holiday, so I’m sorry if I’m a little too late with my recipe for some of you!
I have used the leftover boozy fruit from my homemade apple and blackberry vodka – when we strained the vodka into bottles, we kept the juicy infused fruit in a tub in the fridge, ready to add to our Christmas cake – waste not want not and all that! So where I’ve used this ‘steeped’ fruit, you can replace this with fresh diced apples, prunes blackberries, cherries or anything you fancy, and add in a shot of brandy, whisky or sherry to make it more boozy if you like! I’m happy with the level of booziness in my fruit, so I won’t be adding any more alcohol to the mixture.
Ingredients: 225g plain flour, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp mixed spice, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence, 200g butter, 200g brown sugar, 2 tbsp black treacle, 1 tbsp marmalade, 4 eggs, 1kg mixed fruits made up of fresh or steeped fruit, dried fruits, cherries etc
Cream the sugar and butter together in a large bowl before adding the eggs, treacle, marmalade and vanilla. Mix before adding the flour, salt and spices, then stir until combined. Finally, add the fresh and dried fruits and mix thoroughly. Tip into a large cake tin and smooth it down, making a shallow well in the centre to allow the cake to rise while cooking. Cook in the oven for 2 and a half hours at 150 degrees and test with a skewer, if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked, or if not, return it to the oven and check every 20 minutes until it is done. Store in an airtight container and ‘feed’ with booze or fresh fruit juice once a week to keep it moist. Take some time to think about your plans for decorating the cake and get it out to decorate just before Christmas!
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