For most of us, the traditional Christmas cake, bursting with dried fruit and moist from a good dousing with brandy or rum, is vital. It’s a standard offering for visiting friends and family, equally good with coffee, tea or a glass of wine.
|1 ½ kgs||Mixed fruit, dried, including sultanas, raisins and currants (Main)|
|385 g||Brown sugar|
|1 Tbsp||Golden syrup|
|4 Tbsp||Jam, blackcurrant|
|1 tsp||Baking soda|
|1 tsp||Baking powder|
|1 tsp||Mixed spice|
|150 g||Glace cherries, (1 pkt)|
|100 g||Blanched almonds|
|¼ cup||Dark rum, or brandy|
|3 Tbsp||Apricot jam, to glaze, optional|
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- Place all the dried fruit (except for cherries) in a large saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well, cool and let stand overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a 24cm cake tin with several layers of greaseproof or brown paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar well until light and creamy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating each well, followed by the golden syrup and blackcurrant jam, which should also be thoroughly mixed in.
- Sift the dry ingredients 4 times. Add the dry ingredients and fruit in small alternate batches to the creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture, and finally, fold in the cherries.
- Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Flatten the top and press almonds onto the surface.
- Bake the cake for 4 hours. When cooked, pour ¼ cup of dark rum or brandy over the surface while the cake is still warm.
- Cool and place in an airtight tin to mature for 3-4 weeks.
- Immediately before cutting the cake, glaze the top with melted apricot jam for a professional-looking finish.