|Time||4 days approx|
Christmas cake is a fruitcake traditionally served around Christmas in the United Kingdom, especially after long walks, to be had with tea.
This is a traditional, somewhat extravagant recipe which is quite easy to make, but steeping the fruit should be done over a long time for best results. The resultant cakes should last in very good condition for several months if kept whole in air-tight tins.
Traditionally, the cake is made on the first Sunday of Advent and (once cooled) is 'fed' with alcohol (brandy or rum) every few days until just before Christmas, when it is iced.
- 600 g currants
- 400 g sultanas
- 400 g glacé cherries, quartered
- 200 g raisins
- 100 g chopped candied peel
- 200 ml sherry
- 100 ml brandy
- 50 ml kirsch (or rum)
- Place all the fruit in a large bowl and pour the spirits over the mixture.
- Cover the bowl in foil and leave in a cool place.
- Mix and stir the fruit every day for at least three days; after a fortnight most of the alcohol will have soaked in and further soaking has no benefit.
- Beat together the sugar and margarine with the eggs.
- Add the almonds and black treacle, and mix further.
- Sieve the flours and the mixed spice into the mixture, beating until a smooth mixture results.
- Combine with the pre-prepared fruit (above) and place in a cake tin lined with baking parchment.
- Bake at a low temperature (140°C / 275°F / Gas mark 1) for at least 4 hours. It may take up to 5 hours, depending on the oven.
- Once a knife comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.
- Stored in an airtight box the cake should keep for at least four months.