Easy Christmas Cake
Serve slices even before Christmas - my sister-in-law who does not like fruit cake - ate a whole cake in 2 weeks and yes, she looks like a model. Using High Grade flour is important as the fruit doesn't sink to the bottom.
Time 30 mins + cooling time
1 kg dried fruit (your personal combination mix of sultanas, raisins and currants)
250 g apricots, finely chopped
250 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup brandy or orange juice
½ cup cold tea or water
3 tsp finely grated orange rind
2 tsp finely chopped lemon rind
1 Tbsp treacle
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups high-grade flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Whole blanched almonds
1. Line a deep 23 cm round or square tin with three layers of paper, bringing paper 5 cm above the edge of the pan or if you have a wooden cake box just simply line with baking paper.
2. Into a large pot place the dried fruit, butter, sugar, brandy/orange juice and cold tea.
3. Stir over heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes; cool to room temperature.
4. Heat oven to 150degC regular bake (not fan bake).
5. Stir in orange and lemon rind. Add treacle and eggs. Then sift and add dry ingredients. Mix in with gentle, folding movements. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan, decorate the top with almonds.
Bake for 2 ½ - 3 hours. When the cake comes out of the oven, splash a little extra brandy over the top of the cake.
Cover hot cake with a tea towel, cool in pan.
Note: Glace fruit and mixed peel do not appear in this recipe - but if you wish to add this, do so - just subtract the other fruit quantities.
Cook's tip: To ensure a cake is cooked insert a knife in the centre of the cake and it's cooked when it comes out cleanly. Investing in a wooden cake box is the best idea. It guarantees a moist cake with no time consuming lining of paper in tins. The 20cm box works a treat with this recipe.