Nothing beats a homemade Christmas cake. I wouldn't say it is our family tradition as I don't make one every year but I do when I can as it is so worth the effort. Christmas cakes do need a fair few ingredients and we spent around £20 on ours. That does include a cheap bottle of Amaretto from Aldi and we had leftover ingredients that we used to make Mincemeat.
A Christmas cake is actually pretty simple to make - it's the measuring out of ingredients and the actual baking that takes time. I have tried a few recipes over the years from Delia Smith to Nigella but Mary Berry's is my favourite and the one I always use now. I have made a few tweaks to the original recipe though. I hope you like it!
|Soak your dry fruits in Amaretto overnight|
|Line your baking tin with a double layer or baking parchment|
|Mix all other ingredients in a food processor or by hand until well combined|
|This is what your cake batter should look like|
|Gently fold your cake batter into the soaked fruit|
|Spoon mixture into your prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for approx 4.5 hours|
|Your fruit cake needs to cool and can then be wrapped ready for feeding.|
Classic Christmas Cake Ingredients
You will need a 20cm round deep cake tin. This recipe is supposed to create 12-15 slices but ours lasts a lot longer than this. The cake is pretty deep so you can get away with serving pretty thin slices I think.
100g Glace cherries
100g Ready-to-eat dried apricots
50g Candied peel
5 tbsp Amaretto
225g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground mixed spice
225g Unsalted butter
225g Dark muscavado sugar
4 Large eggs
50g Chopped almonds
1 tbsp Black treacle
Grated rind of 1 orange
The following morning.......
1 - Pre-heat the over to 140C/Fan 120C/Gas 1. Grease and line your 20cm deep round cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment.
2 - Place the flour, spices, butter, sugar, eggs, almonds, treacle and orange rind into a large bowl or food mixer and beat well.
3 - Carefully fold the soaked fruits into your cake batter until combined.
4 - Spoon the mixture into your cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Loosely cover the top with a double layer of baking parchment.
5 - Bake in a pre-heated oven for 4.5 hours or until the cake feels firm and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
6 - Leave the cake to cool in the tin and then wrap completely with a fresh double layer of baking parchment and then finally wrap the whole cake in tin foil. Store in a cool, dry place.
Every week, pierce the cake with a skewer in around 10 places and spoon amaretto over the cake to 'feed' it before re-wrapping. You will need to cover the cake with almond paste (or marzipan) about a week before icing but I'll be back mid-December to update you with details on how to do that.
Let me know if you've baked your own Christmas Cake this year.
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