I think this is the earliest I have ever managed to cook a Christmas cake. Last night, after work I made this one and the only reason I attempted it was because I knew it was going to be quick and easy. Sometimes, I start making things like this only to find it has taken much longer than I thought, it becomes late, I become over tired and well basically I wish I’d gone to M&S! So my friends, I bring you probably the easiest Christmas cake ever and
probably one of the yummiest.
You will need
1 x deep 20cm greased and lined cake tin
175g butter , chopped
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 of 1 lemon
100ml/3½ fl oz cherry brandy or brandy plus 4tbsp more
85g macadamia nuts
3 large eggs , lightly beaten
85g ground almonds
200g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
How to make your cake
1.Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice and 100ml/3½fl oz brandy in a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2.Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2/ fan 130C and line the cake tin. Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them until evenly browned, or in the oven for 8-10 minutes – keep an eye on them as they burn easily. When they are cool, chop roughly. Stir the eggs, nuts 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.
4.Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it down evenly – you will find this is easiest with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped into boiling water.
5.Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140C/gas 1/ fan120C and cook for a further 1-1¼ hours (about a further 1¾ hours if you have a gas oven) 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.
6.Make holes all over the warm cake with a fine skewer and spoon the extra 4tbsp brandy over the holes 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.
This recipe originates from a lady called Mary Cadogan.