Christmas Goodies: Excellent Christmas cake
In a festive series from our Lois Daish archive, we start with a cake with unusual proportions of fruit.
|200 g||Raisins, seedless|
|200 g||Sticky raisins, seeded|
|75 g||Glace cherries|
|50 g||Mixed peel|
|50 g||Blanched almonds|
|200 g||Brown sugar|
|1 pinch||Ground cinnamon|
|1 pinch||Ground cloves|
|1 pinch||Ground ginger|
- First prepare the fruit. Pick through the various raisins to find any stray stalks. Roughly chop the seeded raisins. Finely chop the cherries and peel, and sliver the almonds.
- Put all the fruit and nuts in a bowl with the marmalade and brandy. Mix thoroughly together. this can be done a day ahead if you wish.
- Cream the butter and brown sugar together until soft and light, then beat in the treacle.
- Beat in the eggs once at a time, then the vanilla. If the mixture starts to curdle add a tablespoon of the flour.
- Sift the flour with the spices and beat lightly into the creamed mixture. Beat in the 2 tsp of orange zest and 1 tsp of lemon zest. Mix in the fruit. Line a deep 20 cm square cake time with greaseproof paper.
- Pile the mixture into the tin, smoothing the top evenly. Bake at 160 degC for 1½ hours. Reduce the heat to 150 degC and bake for another 30 to 60 minutes until the cake is firm right to the middle and a metal skewer comes out clean. Turn off the oven, open the door and leave the cake in the oven for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before turning out. Wrap in a brandy-soaked cloth, if you wish, and store in an airtight tin or plastic bag.
- This cake is fine to cut and eat the next day, but will mature in flavour if kept for three weeks before cutting. It will keep for a year if dabbed with brandy from time to time and kept in a cool place.