When I think of all the amazing calorie rich indulgent Christmas treats i’ve tucked into over the years, my Mum’s Christmas cake comes to mind every time.
Given that we are now less than 90 sleeps away, I think it’s definitely time to get my cake on the go so its ready in time for Christmas AND I’m going to share it with you all.
This cake goes back to my great grandma and she in turn passed it on to my Mum.
8 oz of butter
8 oz natural dark muscovado sugar
1 (level) tsp black treacle
4 medium eggs
10 oz plain flour
¼ tsp salt
1 (level) tsp soluble coffee powder or essence
1 & ½ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp of sherry
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp baking powder
8 oz currents
8 oz sultanas
4 oz chopped mixed peel
4 oz chopped glazed cherries
8 oz raisins
4 oz flaked almonds
The day before you make your cake, mix all the fruit together in a bowl and add 4 tbsp of brandy, 4 tbsp of rum and 4 tbsp of sherry, more if you’d prefer 😉 Mix well and keep covered with some cling film. Keep giving it the odd shake to keep mixing it up and leave overnight.
Grease and line a 7-8in cake tin (square or round, your choice) with grease-proof paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, coffee powder, mixed spice and ginger into a large bowl (this is the spiced flour).
Beat the eggs in a jug and add to it; the vanilla extract, brandy, rum and almond extract.
Cream the fat and sugar together well and add the treacle.
Add a small amount of the egg mixture to the fat, beat well.
Add a tbsp of the spiced flour to the mixture and mix well.
Add some more egg, beat well and add a 2nd tbsp of spiced flour.
Add the rest of the egg gradually and beat well between each addition.
Add the remaining spiced flour.
Lastly add the dried fruits and almonds and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared cake tin.
After adding the mixture to the cake tin, make a dip in the center of the mixture of about an inch. this stops the cake rising too much in the middle and thus cracking and burning.
Bake in the middle of a (preheated) warm oven (gas 3/325F/160C) for 1 hour.
Reduce heat to very cool (gas 1/275F/140C) for the last 2 hours checking it after one hour and every 15 minutes thereafter.
To check to see if the cake is done, you will need a fine instrument to check that it is cooked in the middle, (i use a kebab skewer) by inserting it diagonally around the center of the cake. Leave it in for a second and withdraw. If the skewer is clean then it’s cooked. If there is still some cake stuck to the skewer then return it to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep doing this until the skewer is removed clean.
Leave to cool on a wire rack in the tin until it is cold.
When it is cold, remove from tin and remove the grease-proof paper. Re-wrap in fresh grease-proof paper.
At this point my Mum would use the skewer and make lots of insertions all over the top of the cake going almost all the way through and then ‘feed the cake’ some brandy by pouring little amounts over the surface of the cake making sure it goes down the tiny holes and rubbing any remaining brandy over the surface to make sure it all gets absorbed. She would then repeat this process for the bottom of the cake 24-hours later. You can repeat this process as many times as you like.
Always be sure to wrap the cake in grease-proof paper well followed by foil and store in a tin for a few months until you are ready to decorate. Do not wrap in foil on its own as the alcohol reacts with the alcohol.
Fancy decorating the cake??
Then sit back and relax with a slice….
Don’t forget to wear your Santa Hat while you make it 🙂