Christmas Cake recipe

This is my mum’s Christmas cake recipe, and it really is the nicest Christmas cake I’ve ever tasted. She’s given the recipe out to people many many times, and on several occasions people have said to her “I must give you my Christmas cake recipe that my friend gave me years ago, it’s lovely”  – only to hand her a photocopy of her own handwritten recipe!

10 oz butter (softened)
10 oz finely chopped mixed fruit peel
10 oz sultanas
8 oz currants
5 oz seedless raisins
4 oz glace cherries, halved
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz chopped angelica
8 oz plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 oz soft brown sugar
6 oz ground almonds
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons brandy

Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/150C/310F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ round cake tin with 1 oz of the softened butter, using a pastry brush. Grease one side of a 20″ strip of greaseproof paper with 1 oz of butter and fit the paper, greased side up, inside the tin.

Put the fruit (peel, sultanas, currants, raisins, cherries and angelica) into a large bowl. Sprinkle it with 2 oz of the flour, tossing it about with a spoon to coat the pieces evenly. Set aside. Sift the rest of the flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the rest of the butter with the sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the ground almonds and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and baking powder mix, about 6 tablespoons at a time, beating well. Beat the fruit mixture into the batter. Finally, add the brandy, mix well, pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hr 45 minutes, then lower the heat to gas mark 1/100C/290F and bake for a further 2 hours 15 minutes until a fine skewer inserted comes out cleanly.

Let the cake cool for 30 minutes before removing the sides of the tin, then slip it off the bottom of the tin and onto a cake rack to cool completely. Once completely cool, remove the paper. Several times before the cake is marzipanned and iced, sprinkle two or three tablespoons of brandy over the cake.

 

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