With only just under six weeks to go until the Big Day, that’s Christmas Day, now is the time to make your Christmas Cake! I make mine anytime between the end of October and Mid November, in an attempt to get it ‘fed’ with brandy in time, which results in a moist, rich and fruity cake that all my family (and friends) love.
This cake is unashamedly simple, insofar as it us a very traditional cake that has been made by my mum and her mum before her, for decades – it’s got all the ingredients you need for a luxurious cake such as mixed dried fruit, eggs, butter, mixed peel, plump cherries, ground almonds and a slosh of brandy, and is a fruity cake with a light texture, rather than a close, almost rubbery texture that some rich fruit cakes can have.
You need to start the cake the night before you intend to bake it, as the dried fruit needs to be plumped up with a soaking of brandy, which is essential, of course! The next task is to make a baking paper liner for your cake tin, which not only acts as a paper cover for the cake after it is baked, but also protects it from becoming over-brown and burnt as it bakes for nearly 4 hours.
If you follow my easy step-by-step instructions below, you will be rewarded with a delicious, fruity and moist cake that will be the star of the Christmas tea time table! Please pop back in 3 to 4 weeks, when I will then be showing you how to make marzipan and Royal icing, and how to decorate your cake in suitable festive attire!
For this recipe you will need baking paper and a loose-bottomed 23cm round cake tin or a 20.5cm square cake tin.