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Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake is something special.  It usually has lots of different fruits and a goodly amount of rum or brandy.  Keeping quality is excellent so you can make the cake months before Christmas and keep it tightly wrapped in the fridge.  I don't usually ice the cake because it's so rich already.

Make sure you check out Making Fruit Cakes after you have read the recipe and before you begin making the cake.  Allow a couple of days preparation because it will take longer than you think to make the perfect Christmas Cake - but it's worth the time and effort.

Note that the recipe below has 1.765kg of dried fruit.  If you don't like a particular type of ingredient - like mixed peel - then substitute an equal weight of another type.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/3 cups (375g) sultanas
  • 2 1/4  cups (375g) raisins, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups (250g) currants
  • 1 1/2 cups (250g) pitted prunes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (250g) pitted dates, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (125g) mixed peel
  • 2/3 cup (140g) red glacé cherries, halved
  • 1 1/3 cups (340ml) Drambuie or whisky
  • 1/3 cup (115g) honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 250g butter, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 90g dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups (125g) pecans, toasted, chopped
  • 2 cups (300g) plain flour
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (25g) cocoa powder
  • extra pecans and glacé cherries, optional

Method:

  1. Combine fruit, 1 cup of the Drambuie, honey and rind in a large plastic or glass bowl; mix well.
  2. Cover and stand overnight or for several days.
  3. When you are ready to bake your cake, prepare your pan as described below
  4. Preheat the oven to very slow (120°C/100°C fan-forced).
  5. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until just combined.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between additions.
  7. Beat in the essence.
  8. Add butter mixture to fruit mixture - you may want to combine the mixture into the largest boiling pan you have; mix well.
  9. Stir in chocolate, nuts, then sifted dry ingredients in two batches; mix well.
  10. Spread the cake mixture into prepared cake pan.
  11. Decorate tops with extra pecans and glacé cherries, if desired.
  12. Bake cake in slow oven for about 3 hours or until cooked when tested.
  13. Brush hot cake with Drambuie, cover tightly with foil; cool in pan.