Yes I am aware it is the 1st of November and Halloween is finally over and we have a few long weeks left to go till Christmas time, however around the end of October every year I bake our Christmas Cake with my husband. Christmas Cake has to be baked early as it has to be fed every week with brandy or an alcohol of your choice to keep it nice and moist and boozy and then just before Christmas you can marzipan and ice it ready to be eaten all the way through to the New Year. It has become our little family tradition to bake this together and make a wish for the year ahead as we stir the mixture, a bit odd I know but it is what we always did as a family with my Mum growing up so we have adopted it. We always use the same recipe so I thought that I would record our little tradition on here with the recipe in case you wanted to have a go, you still have time to make a Christmas Cake ready for Christmas Day. We have used the same BBC Good Food Recipe for the last three years i have linked the original recipe below, here is our recipe with some minor alterations. Ingredients:
- 225g plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 200g butter
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 1 tbsp orange marmalade
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 800g mixed dried fruits
- 100g chopped mixed peel
- 150g glace cherries, halved
- 100g mixed chopped nuts
- 100g chopped dates (I added this to the original recipe as they make the cake more moist)
- Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Grease a 20cm/8inch round or an 18cm/7inch square tin (we use a round one) and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
- Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Cream the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the sugar, treacle, marmalade and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
- Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
- Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
- Turn the mixture into the tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
- Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a skewer. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
- Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbspof brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
Once the cake is baked place in a cake tin wrapped in tin foil and feed the cake once a week with table spoons of brandy. Over time the brandy will soak into the cake and make a gorgeous boozy Christmas Cake. You will then need to ice and decorate the cake before Christmas, I will do a further post on this later on. My top tip is to buy the icing, marzipan and decorations for the cake at the same time as the ingredients as there is nothing worse than scrabbling around in a supermarket just before Christmas looking for an icing pen or a ribbon! Also to keep the top from burning we made a little Tin Foil hat which kept the cake cooking but didn’t burn the top and we added this 2 hours into cooking. Please see below the original link for this Christmas Cake recipe as I have not written this myself, we think it is the absolute best! Traditional Christmas Cake Recipe BBC Good Food