Easy Christmas cake
Ready in 30 minutes, plus cooling time. My sister-in-law, who does not like fruitcake, ate a whole cake in two weeks, and yes, she looks like a model. Using high-grade flour is important so the fruit doesn't sink to the bottom.
- Line a deep 23cm round or square tin with three layers of paper, bringing paper 5cm above the edge of the pan or, if you have a wooden cake box, simply line with baking paper.
- Into a large pot, place the dried fruit, butter, sugar, brandy or orange juice and cold tea.
- Stir over heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature.
- Heat oven to 150C.
- Stir in orange and lemon rind. Add treacle and eggs, then sift and add dry ingredients. Mix in with gentle, folding movements. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan then decorate the top with almonds.
- Bake for 2½ to 3 hours. When the cake comes out of the oven, splash a little extra brandy over the top of the cake.
- Cover hot cake with a tea towel, cool in pan.
Glacé fruit and mixed peel do not appear in this recipe, but if you wish to add this, do so - just subtract the other fruit quantities.