Christmas Cake Recipe from www.CookUK.co.uk

KEY POINTS

Preparation Time:  45 minutes  Cooking Time:  3 hours
How Difficult  Medium  Freeze?   No
Servings  25cm (10 in) cake

CHRISTMAS CAKE
This Christmas Cake Recipe page deals with making and baking the Christmas Cake. When you are ready to marzipan and ice your Christmas Cake click on one of the following pages:

How To Make and Bake a Christmas Cake
How To Marzipan a Christmas Cake
How To Ice Your Christmas Cake with Ready-To-Roll Icing
How To Ice Your Christmas Cake The Traditional Method

A Recipe That Your Children Can Cook

We use the Christmas Cake baked with this recipe for marzipan and icing.

TIME
45 minutes preparation time
3 to 3 hours hour cooking time

INGREDIENTS
The ingredients below will make enough to fill a 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inch) cake tin.

Ingredients Imperial Metric
Butter or margarine at room temperature (1 hour or so out of the fridge) 8 oz 230 g
5 medium eggs - -
Mixed Fruit (e.g. currants, raisins, sultanas, peel) 1 lb 680 g
Glace cherries - roughly chopped 2 oz 60 g
Mixed spice teaspoon teaspoon
Ground almonds 2 oz 60 g
Demerara sugar 8 oz 230 g
Almonds - roughly chopped 2 oz 60 g
Self-raising flour 12 oz 340 g
Brandy or rum 4 fl oz 110 ml
Milk - if needed to adjust consistency of mixture 2 fl oz 55 ml


NOTE: You will need more brandy to add to the cake as it matures. Allow for another 4 fl oz / 110 ml.

COOKING EQUIPMENT
1 cake tin - 20 to 25cm diameter
Food blender or a a lot of manual stirring!
A large bowl
Grease proof paper

OVEN TEMPERATURE
170 C, 325 F, Gas Mark 3

METHOD 
Grease the inside of the cake tin with butter, margarine or oil. Cover the inside of the cake tin with greaseproof paper as shown in the picture on the left.

It's important to get the paper sat neatly in the cake tin. Click here for our page on how to do this the professional and easy way! With step by step pictures of course.

 
Place the sugar and butter in your food blender and mix them well - this will take around a minute at medium to high speed.

The texture after blending will be thick and creamy. Start the blender going again and add the eggs. Keeping the blender going at medium to high speed will stop the eggs curdling.

 
The process of blending in the eggs will incorporate a lot of air into the cake mixture (click picture to enlarge it and see more clearly the air bubbles).

It's the air in the cake mixture which will keep the cake 'light'. Turn the oven on now so that it is pre-heated to the right temperature.


Remove the mixture from the blender and gently spoon it into a wide bowl Add the flour, ground almonds and mixed spice into the bowl and gently mix them in. The object here is to mix all the ingredients well but not to 'knock' the air out of the mixture. Do this by using a spoon and gently stir in a figure of 8. It will take about 30 seconds to mix up all the ingredients.

 
Add the mixed fruit, glace cherries, chopped almonds and brandy. Gently mix the ingredients together using a spoon as described in the previous paragraph.

The consistency of the mix should be such that the mixture will drop off a spoon with some reluctance (click picture to see more clearly). If the mixture is too thick, add some of the milk and mix gently again.

 
Gently spoon the mixture into the cake tin lined with greaseproof paper. Level out the mixture using the spoon.

Make a small well in the centre of the mixture. This will prevent the cake form rising too excessively in the centre when it is baking. Click picture to see more clearly.

 
Put the cake tin in the oven and bake for 3 to 3 hours (pre-heated oven 170C, 325F, Gas Mark 3), 20 minutes less for fan assisted ovens.
Turn the cake round in the oven once or twice during baking to ensure that it evenly cooks. When the cake is cooked (see next para for judging this), the top will probably be slightly cracked. This matters not one jot because we will turn the cake over to ice it!

 
Check if the Christmas Cake is cooked properly by inserting a skewer or thin knife into the cake. If it's reasonably clean when you take it out, the cake is cooked. If there are bits stuck to the skewer / knife it needs cooking a bit more.

The example on the left was from a cake that needed about 20 minutes more cooking.

Ovens differ in how fast they cook so check your cake after 2 hours and then every 20 minutes to see if it is cooked.
 
Let the cake cool for a couple of hours then prepare it for storage. Cover with greaseproof paper then either wrap it in foil or store it in an airtight container.

Ideally, the cake should be matured for a month or more before icing it. If storing the cake for more than two weeks, add a small amount of brandy to the cake every two weeks.
 

The best way to add brandy is to turn the cake upside down, prick it with a fork in several places then sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of brandy over the base of the cake. Rewrap the cake as before, base downwards.


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