Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Cake

Fruit cakes are naturally packed with goodness from all the dried fruits and nuts they contain.

Use a canola based margarine instead of butter and make sure to soak the dried fruit in the fridge for at least a few days before you start. I use rum, but you could also use brandy or even home-squeezed orange juice. Don't worry, the alcohol cooks off during the cooking process!

Christmas cakes are best made a month ahead. Consider 'feeding' the cake with a few teaspoons of liquor each week in the lead up to Christmas.

Christmas Cake
400g currants
325g sultanas
200g raisins
200g glace cherries
100g mixed candied peel
2 cups rum
1 apple, cored and pureed fresh with skin on
4 eggs, lightly beaten
175g margarine
175g soft brown sugar
200g SR flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp black treacle
28 blanched almonds (for topping)

  1. Place all dried fruit, treacle and apple in a bowl and cover with rum. Cover dish and refridgerate for at least a couple of days before you start the cake.
  2. Grease and line a 2cm round cake tin. Tie some additional paper around the outside of the tin and prepare a double layer square of baking paper with a small cutout in the middle. The square is to be placed gently on top of the cake to prevent burning during the long cooking time.
  3. Preheat oven to 140 degrees.
  4. Sift flour and spices into a bowl.
  5. In another bowl, beat together sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating all the time. Adding the eggs slowly should prevent them from curdling, but if the mixture does curdle, don't worry too much as the cake will still taste delicious!
  6. Fold the flour gently into the egg mix.
  7. Gently fold fruit and almond mix in now.
  8. Transfer cake mix to the cake tin, spreading out evenly.
  9. Place almonds in a circular pattern on the cake surface.
  10. Cover with baking paper square and bake for 4 - 4.5hrs or until skewer tests clean.

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