This is the first Christmas cake i have made, adapted another recipe and decided it would be fun to do individual cakes for christmas day! will decorate with a sifting of icing sugar christmas morning and serve with some homemade Rum and Cranberry ice-cream which ill make closer to the time, if successful ill add that recipe to. This recipe makes 8 mini loaves using a individual brownie tin we were left with surplus which made 6 christmas cupcakes (they didnt last 5 minutes) You could use this mixture to make one large christmas cake timings would alter to about 45 minutes on 130 then reduced to 120 for around 1 and a 1/4 hours maybe longer.
175g butter, chopped and softened
200g dark muscovado sugar
750g luxury mixed dried fruits (one that includes mixed peel and glacé cherries)
finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
100ml/3½ fl oz Dark Rum plus 8 tsp more for soaking
85g dried Cranberries
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
85g flaked almonds
200g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
Put the softened butter, sugar, fruit, zests, cranberries, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz dark rum in a large container. mix it up and leave for 24 hours to soak all that alcohol goodness in (shaking every so often to assure even coating).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C butter and line a mini loaf (i used a brownie tin). Stir the eggs and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Stir in gently, until there are no traces of flour left.
Spoon the mixture into the individual mini loaf/brownie tin and smooth it down evenly with the back of a metal spoon that was dipped in boiling hot water first.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 30-50 minutes (keep an eye on it every 10 minutes or so after 20 minutes of cooking) until the cake is dark golden in appearance and firm to the touch. Cover the top of the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much. To check the cake is done, insert a fine skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 8tsp of Dark rum over the holes (1 tsp for each cake) more if required! until it has all soaked in. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. When it's cold, remove it from the tin, peel off the lining paper, then wrap first in baking parchment and then in foil. The cake will keep in a cupboard for up to three months or you can freeze it for six months.