I think I first made this cake about five years ago and it has now become my family’s favourite Christmas cake. It’s fruity, fresh and totally delicious.
You will need
250 g (9 oz) each plump raisins and sultanas
100g (3 1/2 oz) dried cranberries or blueberries
200 g (7 oz) natural glace cherries, halved
200 ml (7fl oz) vanilla vodka we used Absolute, available from Tesco’s and Waitrose
150 g (5 oz) roasted Marcona almonds
200 g (7 oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200 g (7 oz) unrefined dark muscovado
4 medium organic eggs, beaten
100g (3 1/2 oz) plain flour
How to make your Vanilla Vodka Cake
1. One put the raisins, sultanas, cranberries (or blueberries) and cherries in a large bowl. Add the vodka and stir well. Cover and soak for 2-3hours or even better overnight. Blend the almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Tip out 75 g (3 oz) and blend the remainder until ground. Cover and set aside.
2. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20.5 cm (8″) round tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven 250°C ,130°C fan, Gas Mark 2. Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, then beat with a hand-held electric whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until light and creamy.
3. Gradually whisk in the beaten eggs, adding a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Stir in the ground and chopped nuts, along with any remaining flour. Tip the soaked fruit mixture into the bowl, together with any unabsorbed vodka, and mix well.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level surface. Bake for 3 1/2 hours or into the skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then remove, keeping it in the greaseproof paper. Wrap in a double thickness of foil until ready to decorate.