Friday, 8 November 2013

Getting the Christmas Cake ready

I cannot believe I am about to say this but it's that time of year again to bake the Christmas Cake! This year has flown by and we are already in November. As much as people hate to admit it Christmas really isn't that far away. Dan works every other weekend so having time together can be difficult and is even more difficult over Christmas so we like to make the most of the time we have together. We love making lots of things in the run up to Christmas, hams, pickled onions, ginger bread houses and Christmas cakes! Last year I made my first ever Christmas Cake using the Delia Smith recipe but this year I decided to give Mary Berry's recipe a try.

Ingredients175g/6oz raisins
350g/12oz natural glacĂ© cherries, halved, rinsed, and thoroughly dried
500g/1lb 2oz currants
350g/12oz sultanas
150ml/¼pt brandy or sherry, plus extra for feeding
2 oranges, zest only
250g/9oz butter, softened
250g/9oz light muscovado sugar
4 free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp black treacle
75g/3oz blanched almonds, chopped
250g/9oz plain flour
1½ tsp mixed spice
Mix together all of the fruit, brandy and orange zest. Cover and leave for 24 hours and allow the fruit to soak up the brandy.

Blend the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds and mix together in a large bowl until combined.  Add in the flour and ground spice. 

Slowly add the fruit into the mixture until it is all incorporated together. 


Line a tin with grease proof paper and carefully spoon the mixture into the tin until is is even. 

Cover the top of the cake with grease proof paper leaving a 2p sized hole in the middle of it to release the steam. Place the cake into a preheated oven (140c) for 4-4.5 hours. 

I love baking this cake, it leaves the whole house smelling like Christmas for days!! When it is finished, take it out of the oven and leave to cool down. Once it is cool place it into a sealed tin. You will need to 'feed' your cake several times before Christmas. Using a skewar make a number of holes in your cake and spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy.

Keep your eyes peeled in December as this cake will need decorating!!

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