Hello lovelies welcome to Elegant Ageless Beauty, I’m Teresa.
I hope you don’t mind something a bit different from me today. It’s come to that time of year when I make my Christmas Cake, and I thought that I would share my recipe with you all. My recipe is adapted from a Delia Smith recipe book that my Mum used every Christmas while she was still able to make gorgeous Christmas food. I’m dedicating this post in her memory.
This recipe is for an 8 inch (20cm) round cake or a 7 inch (18cm) square cake. Firstly I line my cake tin with 2 layers of greaseproof paper so that it’s all ready to take the mixture once prepared.
800g Dried Mixed Fruit
50g Glace Cherries rinsed, dried and chopped
5 Tablespoons of Brandy or Whiskey
225g Plain Flour
1/4 (quarter) teaspoon grated Nutmeg
1/2 (half) teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice
225g Unsalted Butter
225g Soft Brown Sugar
4 large Eggs
50g Chopped Almonds
1 Dessertspoon Black Treacle
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon and 1 Orange
You will need to begin this cake the night before you actually want to make it.
Place all the dried fruit into a bowl and add the Brandy/Whiskey. Stir thoroughly and cover with a cloth. Leave overnight to allow the fruits to soak up the alcohol and become plump. If you don’t like alcohol you can use the same amount of orange juice instead.
Next day. Preheat oven to gas mark 1, 140 degrees C. Measure out rest of ingredients. Beat the 4 eggs together in a jug. Sift together the flour and dried spices into a bowl, mix them together to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until it becomes lighter in colour and fluffy.
Now add the eggs a tablespoon at a time beating well. (Sometimes the mixture can curdle, but don’t let this worry you once all the fruits and other delicious ingredients are added it won’t be noticed)
Once all the eggs are beaten into the butter and sugar mixture you can start adding the rest of your ingredients. I literally take the flour/spice mixture, the black treacle, the soaked fruit, the glace cherries the lemon and orange zests, the chopped almonds and add them all at once. I then now use my hands to mix everything thoroughly together. I love mixing my christmas cake in this way. Now add your mixture to your prepared cake tin. I always cut a circle of greaseproof paper the size of the tin, cut out a hole in the centre and place it lightly on top of the cake mixture. This can help stop the cake top from becoming dry during cooking. Now take a double thickness of brown paper and wrap around the cake tin tying it with string. This protects the sides of the cake during the long cooking time.
Put the cake into the oven on the lowest shelf for 4 hours. Sometimes though it can take a little longer. At the end of cooking time take cake from oven and insert a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean then the cake is cooked. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Remove from cake tin, and remove all greaseproof paper too. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. When cold wrap the cake in double greaseproof paper and secure. I keep mine in an airtight tin until I’m ready to decorate it a few days before Christmas. During that time I do “feed” my cake with whisky. I simply prick a few holes in the top of my cake and trickle whisky into them. I usually do it every day.
Decorating my Christmas Cake.
I usually just buy ready rolled Marzipan and Icing by the Dr Oetker brand, and to decorate I warm a little apricot jam in a bowl and paint the top and sides using a pastry brush. I then place marzipan over the cake smoothing it as I go, making sure it sticks neatly to the cake. I then paint the marzipan with the apricot jam and then place the ready rolled icing on top of that making sure it’s completely smooth. Last year Mark bought me a beautiful handmade cake topper ( see first photo) I just dampened the top of the iced cake with a little water and put the topper in place. Around the sides I just put a length of Christmas ribbon and I secured it with a pearl dressmaking pin.
So that’s it, that’s how I make my Christmas cake. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope you don’t mind that this isn’t a beauty related post.