In my previous blog post on bringing back old fashioned Christmas traditions, I mentioned I had been giving out Christmas cakes as gifts. I have done this for the last 3 year nows and this recipe never fails me so I thought I would share it with you.
350g plain flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp of mixed spice
100g ground almonds
150ml semi skimmed milk (or half milk, half brandy!)
725g mixed fruit including sultanas, raisins and mixed peel.
100g glace cherries
Brandy - and lots of it!
Cream the butter and sugar together in one bowl.
In another bowl mix the flour, almond flour and mixed spice.
In a measuring jug pour out 150ml of milk (or half and half, so 75ml milk and 75ml brandy). Then whisk in 3 eggs to the mixture.
To the bowl with sugar and butter, add the flour mixture and egg mixture bit by bit taking it in turns which one you add.
Once all the ingredients are combined, it is time to add the mixed fruit and glace cherries.
Mix the fruit into the mixture very well. It is important to get an even spread of the fruit, try to avoid clumps or they will sink to the bottom of the cake and ruin the texture.
Place in a 12 inch pre-greased and lined cake tin.
Bake at 150 degrees C for 2 hours.
Once baked, poke some holes in the cake and pour over some brandy.
I then wrap in clingfilm and "feed" my cakes with 2 tablespoons of brandy around every 10 days until christmas.
This is what they look like at this stage:
I actually decorate my cakes every year with my mother in law who helps me. We first marzipan around the sides and top using apricot jam to stick it down. We then use royal icing to create a frosty scene, then top with vintage style figures. I will then wrap each cake in cellophane wrap with a bow at the top to make it into a beautiful homemade gift!
This is the finished product (minus the wrap and bow which I didn't get a picture of!):