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Member recipe

Traditional Christmas Cake

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Servings

Serves 8

This traditional Christmas cake pulls out all the stops - if you have the time, feed it with brandy in the run up to Christmas.

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Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g/7oz butter
  • 200g/7oz dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tbsp marmalade
  • ¼ tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 800g/1¾lb mixed dried fruits
  • 100g/3½oz chopped mixed peel
  • 150g/5oz glace cherries, halved
  • 100g/3½oz blanched almonds, chopped
  • brandy
  • To decorate
  • 200g/7oz marzipan
  • 1-2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
  • royal icing
  • 3 free-range egg whites
  • 600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sieved
  • 1½ tsp liquid glycerine - optional
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Method

    1. Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Grease a 20cm/8inch round or an 18cm/7inch square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
    2. Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
    3. 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.
    4. Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
    5. Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
    6. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
    7. Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a skewer. If not ready bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
    8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
    9. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
    10. 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.

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