Christmas Cake (British)
Author: Epicurus.com Kitchens
Recipe type: Cakes
- 2 pounds mixed dried fruit
- 4 ounces glace' cherries
- 4 ounces candied fruit
- 3 ounces blanched almonds
- 10 ounces plain flour
- 1 single pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon flavoring (vanilla, lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 8 ounces butter
- 8 ounces soft brown sugar
- whisky to soak fruit
- 250 ml milk (to mix)
- (Note: (1) The mixed dried fruit should be such things as seedless raisins and currants.
- (2) The 1/2 teaspoon of "flavoring" can be almond, or lemon, or vanilla, or a mixture of the three.
- (3) "Mixed spice" is a combination of cinnamon, allspice and mace: about 1/3 of each.)
- Find a 9-inch cake pan at least three inches deep; grease it, and line the bottom and sides with a double thickness of greased baking parchment.
- Tie folded brown paper or newspaper around the outside of the pan. (The paper is insulation, to keep the sides of the cake from scorching as it bakes.)
- Set oven to 320-300 F: have folded paper to stand the pan on when baking -- place low in oven. Pick over the dried fruit, removing any stems, etc.
- Wash, drain well and spread over a cloth on a tray to dry. When dry, put in a bowl and pour a small wine-glass of spirit over it. Cover well and leave overnight.
- Next day, add chopped peel, blanched chopped almonds, and cherries minced and drained. Mix thoroughly.
- Sift together the flour, salt, soda and spice. Beat the eggs well with the molasses and flavoring.
- Put the butter into a large warmed bowl and beat until soft; then add the sugar and beat until light and creamy.
- Beat in the egg mixture, about a sixth of it at a time, then fold in half the flour mixture.
- Add remainder of the flour to the fruit and mix well.
- Add fruit to creamed mixture and fold in well.
- Put into pan and bake for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until done.
- If top of cake is browning too fast, cover with a few thicknesses of paper. Reduce the oven heat slightly every hour -- about 10 degrees.
- Test with skewer for doneness. Keep the paper wrapped around the cake in place until completely cooled, so that the cooling takes place slowly.
- After completely cooled, invert the cake, lift the baking parchment off the bottom, and sprinkle the cake generously with the spirit of your choice. Wrap well in foil, put in a sealed tin, and keep in a cool place (not necessarily refrigerated).
- The cake benefits from occasional unwrappings and sprinkling with more spirit.
- It takes about 2 months to achieve maximum "mellowness".