So in the tradition of stir up Sunday, now is the time to make your Christmas cake, Christmas puddings and mincemeat! To me Christmas is all about traditions and that is why I refer to my Mum for all of these lovely classics. She’s been making the best Christmas cakes and puddings for years and I don’t intend to change a thing. Her recipe originated from a very old Robert Carrier recipe and like me, she’s made a few tweaks along the way. Today is all about the actual fruit cake, which will be fed with booze over the next few weeks. Won’t we all ? 😂 Brandy or rum works well for this. The most important part at this point is to soak your fruit. If you add dry fruit to a sponge then when it cooks the fruit will draw out moisture from the sponge making it dry and we don’t want that! So go and find your favourite tipple and start soaking. Overnight should do the trick. Here’s a list of ingredients you will need...
Makes a small 6 inch cake
3oz soft Demerara sugar
4oz plain flour
2 large eggs
1 level tablespoons honey or treacle
2oz candied peel - I’m using extra cherries instead
4oz glacé cherries
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 - 4 tablespoons brandy or rum
Parchment paper and a deep 6 inch tin with loose bottom
Add all of the dried fruit to a large bowl. Add the zest of an orange and a lemon and pour over brandy or rum. I used the full amount of rum. Leave to soak over night.
Preheat the oven to 125 degrees (conventional)
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the treacle/honey and vanilla and mix some more. Gradually add the eggs, drop at a time to begin with until fully combined. Add the spices and flour and fold in with a large spoon. Stir through the fruit and add to a lined loose bottom deep cake tin. Cook for 2 hours 10 minutes - 2 hours 30 minutes. Checking with a skewer to see if it’s cooked or not. Check on occasion and if you think it’s colouring too quickly on top then cover with more parchment paper.