Christmas cake traditional rich fruit2016-10-16
- Yield : 1 cake
- Servings : 12
- Prep Time : 30m
- Cook Time : 3:20 h
Christmas cake traditional rich fruit.
This classic recipe is mainly Brenda’s mother’s with a few tweaks of her own.
Christmas cake is traditionally made several weeks in advance to allow time for ‘feeding’ and maturing but it can be eaten soon after cooking.
It does need time to dry out slightly before icing.
You do need to get the pre-soaking ingredients ready the night before you make the fruit cake.
- 225g butter
- 225g dark, soft, brown sugar
- 285g plain flour
- 4 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1100g dried fruit - mixed fruit, sultanas, raisins, currants (personal choice - I like a luxury mixed fruit pack plus other fruits in equal quantities)
- 50g halved, glacé cherries
- 250ml or small bottle Guinness/stout/dark beer
- grated rinds of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 15ml golden syrup
- 5ml powdered cinnamon
- 5ml mixed spice
- Brandy, rum or whiskey to 'feed' the cake if wanted
Soak the dried fruits overnight in the Guinness or stout
Pre-heat oven to 325 Fahrenheit/170 Celsius/ Gas Mark 3
Cream butter and sugar with the syrup, grated lemon and orange rind.
Beat the eggs and slowly beat the egg mixture into your creamed butter and sugar.
Sift together the flour, salt and spices.
Stir in the flour mix thoroughly, ensuring there are no large clumps of flour.
Stir in the fruit and any liquid left from the soaking.
Line an 8 inch/ 20cm deep cake tin with two layers of greaseproof paper, making sure there is no gap between the base layer and the sides. You can do this by cutting short snips into one of the side layers and flattening these in between the 2 base layers. You can also wrap another piece of greaseproof paper or a piece of brown paper around the outside of the tin to stop the side from getting too hot.
Lightly grease the tin.
Put the mixture in the tin, smoothing it flat.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 90 minutes then lower the heat to 275F/140C/Gas mark 1.
Cover the top of the cake with a piece of greaseproof paper and continue cooking for a further 90 - 120 minutes, testing with a skewer towards the end to ensure it is cooked through.
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for a few minutes before turning out and removing the greaseproof paper.
Cool completely before wrapping in foil.
If wanted, you can feed the cake with brandy or rum at weekly intervals. To do this, unwrap the cake, make several small holes in the base of the cake with a cocktail stick or skewer and pour 15ml spirit evenly over the base. Rewrap to continue storing the cake. Do not feed in the days just before icing to allow the surface to dry.