Christmas Cake Time.

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I know a lot of people have made their Christmas Cakes a while back but as I don’t feed mine with alcohol, I have only just made it.   I do think it needs to mature which is why I have done it now.

I don’t like dried fruit so for me it is a no go area, but old person, and the boys enjoy it.    I have therefore adapted my Mums old recipe to remove the alcohol and the nuts from it.     Now I know you will tell me that the alcohol burns off in the cooking so it is not a problem to cook with it.   I know that, but Old Person is paranoid about a reaction occurring with the two dozen tablets she consumes every day, so in order to make a peaceful life, I have re-jigged a classic.

This cake is rich and dense, and yet is light in colour.     It is perfect for decorating as it gives a solid finish.

Here is my version of Christmas Cake.

21/2 LBs Mixed dried Fruit and peel – I use the pre – mixed one, but if you prefer currants over sultanas or what ever,  make your own mix
 6oz Glace cherries – halved – I use scissors to cut them as its much easier!   If you like smaller pieces cut them that way, I just think halved looks pretty.
3 eating apples – grated
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 orange –  rind – finely grated
                    juice
3/4 pint Rich fruit cordial – I use ligonberry cordial I buy in Ikea, but any of the proper cordials rather than squashes.
8 oz soft brown sugar
8 oz butter
6 eggs
12 oz plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large – the bigger the better, bowl put the dried fruit, cherries, grated apple, nutmeg, mixed spice, orange rind and juice, and cordial.    Mix well.

Leave this somewhere everyone will see it and ask them to give it a quick stir every time they go past.     Leave it at least over night but up to 2 days.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time.   Beat well.

Add the sieved flour and cinnamon.

When you have your cake base mixed, stir in the now juicy fruit.   Make sure it is totally covered in the cake mix.

Pour into a prepared 9″ tin.      I also take a bit out to make a couple of smaller ones, so end up with a 9″, a 6″, and 2 x 4″.   The main cake is still about 2″ deep so perfect size for our needs.

Bake at 140C for about 4 hours.     If it is getting dark, cover the top with a piece of greaseproof paper – I’ve never had to though!

When cooked and cooled, wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and tinfoil then store somewhere cool until ready to decorate.

 

This is a simple recipe that smells divine and the kids adore it.   The house smells wonderful while it is cooking too!

If you do want to use alcohol, just exchange the cordial for a mixture of whiskey and stout, which is what was used in my Mums original version.

If you like nuts, replace 2oz of the flour for ground almonds, and add 2 oz of chopped nuts.

I like a recipe that is versatile, and this was one that worked perfectly in its original form, and I was dubious about messing with it, but I did 2 years ago, and made the updated version again last year, and as soon as I said it was time to make the cake this time the boys both said like last years!    That is enough testament to me that my playing with it had worked!

If you do try it, let me know how it goes.

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