Christmas Cake

I adore baking Christmas Cakes! It’s something my mother and us 3 sisters would do together at the beginning of September. I loved how a 4 month old cake could be full of flavour. Use whatever dried fruit you wish in the recipe. Dried Cranberries, Apricots and chopped Figs can be used. And mixed peel. Just as long as the dried fruit total is 675g.

I generally soak the fruit for a few months before I bake the cake. If you don't have that much time try warming the whiskey and pouring it onto the fruit. The fruit will soak up the whiskey quicker. I bake the cake a few months before it is eaten but again, if you're running short on time don't worry. Your cake will still taste really good. But the longer the cake has to mature the more moist and tasty it will be. 

675g Dried Fruit (I use half/half of Sultanas/Raisins)
1 Orange Zest & Juice
150ml Whiskey (Plus more for maturing the cake)
70g Almond, flakes
170g Butter
170g Brown Sugar
3 eggs
200g Plain Flour
3/4 Teasp Mixed Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
55g Ground Almonds/Almond Meal

Soak the dried fruit and flaked almonds in the orange juice, zest and 75ml whiskey for as long as time allows. 

• Preheat the oven to 170oC. Line an 8” round cake tin with baking paper.
• Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one.
• Sift in the flour and spices. Fold in the ground almonds. Fold in the soaked fruit.
• Place into the prepared cake tin and smooth out the surface. 
• Bake for 1 hour approx. turning the cake in the oven after 30 minutes. 
• The cake is ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
• Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour 75ml whiskey over the hot cake. 
• Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.
• When fully cooled, wrap in greaseproof paper and then in tinfoil and store in a cool spot. I usually give my cake 3 or 4 months to mature as the flavours will develop more.

Every month, carefully unwrap the cake and makes small holes on the top of the cake using a skewer. Pour more whiskey onto the cake. Rewrap. Repeat this process every month until it is time to decorate the cake.