Recipe of the Week – Christmas Cake
As we enter the festive time of year, try this rich and decadent Christmas Cake recipe from our 120 Celebration Recipe Book provided by Meredith Taylor, St Catherine’s Community Relations Officer and St Catherine’s Old Girl.
“This recipe was handed down to me from my stepmother who is a wonderful cook and I have been baking it every Christmas for nearly 20 years now. I start soaking the fruit in a generous amount of brandy in October or earlier if I can, so the cake ends up really moist and rich in flavour.” Meredith Taylor
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 4 hours
375g each of raisins, currants, sultanas
220g chopped dates
110g chopped peel
110g sliced cherries
90g flaked almonds
2 tbsp marmalade
3 tbsp brandy
250g castor sugar
1 tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
½ tsp mixed spice
1 brimming tbsp treacle
250g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate soda
Place the dried fruit, peel, cherries, almonds, marmalade and brandy in an airtight container and soak overnight (or for as long as you want).
Preheat oven to 140°C. Cream the butter, sugar and spices until light and fluffy. Blend in the treacle. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Sift the flour and bicarbonate soda and add alternatively with the fruit (this is where I get my clean hands into it to mix thoroughly).
Turn into a tin lined with baking paper and bake in a moderate oven.
Lower the heat to 130°C after the cake has risen. Depending on your oven, the cake should be cooked in about 3½ to 4 hours (I have used ovens that have taken as little as 3 hours to one that took 5 hours).
“To check if the cake is cooked I take it out and listen to hear any ‘snap, crackle and pop’ sounds. If you hear these sounds then it’s not quite ready so put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so and then check again.
No sounds means it’s ready! I put a sheet of baking paper on top of the tin for the entire cooking time. I leave the cake in the tin overnight wrapped in a couple of tea towels. I pour 1 tbsp of brandy over the top of the cake for 35 days before cutting.
This recipe is adapted from my stepmother, Barbara Taylor.”