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Preparations for Christmas : The Perfect Christmas Cake

Preparations for Christmas have begun in right earnest! It’s that time of year when dried fruits get soaked in rum, houses get cleaned, buntings and tinsel are carefully picked out, those ‘special trees’ come out of the closet. All in preparation for Christmas.

Knowing fully well that Christmas is never complete without that much-awaited ‘Christmas Cake’, we found the perfect recipe for the ‘Make and Mature Christmas Cake’ by James Martin.

We selected an easy-to-make yet delicious Christmas Cake recipe just for you. The one that will get your friends and family drooling. Loads of dry-fruits, rum, zest, spices and all, everything needed to make it the perfect Christmas Cake’. The speciality of this cake is that the longer you keep it and soak it with rum, sherry or whiskey, the better it tastes! So let’s get started, what are you waiting for?

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Make and Mature Christmas Cake by James Martin

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What you need :

  • 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 150ml brandy,   Sherry, whiskey or rum, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g pack of butter  softened
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almond
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almond
  • 4 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method :

  • Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
  • Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Happy Baking!

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