With summer barely over, Christmas might be the last thing on your mind, however, early October is a crucial time for those who want to surprise and delight with a Christmas cake feast. To help you achieve a rich fruit Christmas cake, Spicers Little Helpers are delighted to bring you the recipe below, act now to allow sufficient time for the cake to mature.
- 1kg Mixed dried fruits
- 1 Orange – zest and juice
- 1 Lemon – zest and juice
- 100ml Brandy, plus extra for feeding
- 250g Pack of butter
- 200g Light soft brown sugar
- 200g Plain flour
- 100g Ground almonds
- ½ tsp Baking powder
- 2 tsp Mixed spice
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground cloves
- 100g Flaked almonds
- 4 Large eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- Firstly, mix the 1kg dried fruit (Spicers Little Helpers top tip: We recommend a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries and cranberries), zest and juice of your lemon and orange along with 100ml brandy, sugar and butter in a large pan. Melt over a medium heat stirring often.
- Bring your mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5 mins.
- Let the mixture cool for a minimum of 30 mins.
- During this time, pre heat the oven to 150ºC (130ºC if fan assisted) or gas mark 2. Prepare a deep 20cm cake tin by lining it with baking parchment paper, next, wrap a double layer of parchment paper around the outside and tie with string to secure it in place.
- Once your mixture has cooled, add 4 large eggs (Spicers Little Helpers top tip: Add a sprinkling of your flour in with each egg to help your mixture combine). Then add the rest of your dry ingredients (200g plain flour, 100g ground almonds,½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds) and 1tsp vanilla extract then stir well.
- Pour your mixture into the readily prepared tin. (Spicers Little Helpers top tip: Remember to level the top off with a spatula).
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hours, or when a cake tester comes out clean. (Spicers Little Helpers top tip: You can use a skewer or a knife for this. Insert it into the centre of your cake and check that it comes out clean, with no streaks of batter).
- Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and poke holes in the top with a skewer.
- Spoon over 2 tbsp of brandy, and leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
- Peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film.
- Continue to feed your cake by pouring 1-3 tbsp brandy over the top of your cake every fortnight until you’re ready to decorate the cake.
- The decoration is up to you, but if you are planning on icing your cake do not feed the cake for the final week to ensure you have a dry surface when icing.
We hope you enjoy your Spicers’ Essential Christmas Cake. Once you’ve created your cake, we would love to see your results! Tweet us your delicious cake photos @SpicersOfHythe.