Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Christmas Cake!

I made my Christmas Cakes (2) a couple of weeks ago, giving them lots of time to mature in flavour.  I'll be 'feeding' them with Jameson up to Christmas.  So I thought I'd share the recipe with you and some lovely pictures, if only you could smell the deliciousness!!

The recipe is from Mary Berry - the Queen of baking!  It's her Rich Christmas Fruit Cake


  • 175g (6 oz) raisins
  • 350g (12 oz) glace cherries, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) currants
  • 350g (12oz) sultanas
  • 150ml (¼ pint) sherry, plus extra for feeding
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 250g (9oz) butter, softened
  • 250g (9oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 75g (3oz) blanched almonds, chopped
  • 75g (3oz) self-raising flour
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice

So I weighed and measured and got to use my pretty pink bowl!

Here's the Method: 
  1. Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry - I used Jameson whiskey, you could use brandy if you prefer or orange juice if you don't want alcohol and stir in the orange zest. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily - Ok I did not leave it for 3 days! 24 hours did me and I added a small teacup of strong tea. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper - I used one round and one square. Preheat the oven to 140ºC/Fan 120ºC/Gas Mark 1.
  2. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
  3. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown - This may take near 5 hours that's what I found. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil (I didn't need to do this). A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
  4. When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry (I didn't do this, I prefer to wrap it and feed it a week later with more Jameson). Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don't remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)
  5. Decorate with almond paste and royal icing. I'll be doing a post on this near Christmas :)


 At this stage the smell was divine! the spices and zesty oranges and whiskey of course!

After baking for nearly 5 hours!

They are now tightly wrapped up and being fed weekly!

I'm making Christmas Puddings shortly so I'll post about them when the time comes.  


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