The Best Christmas Cake
This Christmas cake pulls out all the stops and can be decorated in any way you want! If you have time, feed it with brandy weekly on the run up to Christmas.
Preparation time: 40 minutes (plus overnight soaking)
Cooking time: 2 – 2 ½ hours
200g glace cherries
150g dried apricots, roughly chopped
125g dried figs, roughly chopped
175g butter, softened
175g soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
3 large eggs, beaten
225g plain flour
1tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
40g ground almonds
1. Place all the dried fruit into a large bowl and add the brandy. Stir well and leave covered overnight.
2. The next day, preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C Fan/Gas mark 2. Line the base of a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
3. In a large bowl beat the butter, sugar and treacle until light and fluffy with a wooden spoon. Now add the eggs one by one, beating as continuously adding a tablespoon of flour with the final egg. Add the rest of the flour, spices and ground almonds. Gently fold together with a metal spoon until thoroughly combined. Now add the fruit and stir well and spoon carefully into the prepared tin.
4. Bake in the oven for 2 hours, check with a skewer, if it comes out clean the cake is ready. If not, continue to bake for a further 15 minutes up to 2 ½ hours and remove from the oven.
5. Once the cake has cooled remove from the tin and wrap in greaseproof paper feeding it with brandy once a week for 4-6 weeks until ready to decorate. Enjoy!