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Recipe Of The Month - November - Rich Fruit Cake

Recipe Of The Month - November

Rich Fruit Cake

This is my favourite Christmas Cake recipe. It has a traditional flavour and I've been making it for several years now and it has never let me down. There is still time to bake your Christmas Cake over the next three weeks and give it a good feed. I use brandy to feed my cake but if I haven't got any in Cream Sherry works just as well. It gives a sweeter, less alcoholic flavour.

This recipe makes a deep 8" (  cm) round or a deep 7" (. cm) square cake.

Baking success is all in the preparation so before you start line the base and sides of the baking tin with grease proof paper. Next set out the required ingredients and do any grating or chopping that may be necessary.

its easy to miss out an ingredient if they are not all laid out ready. 

Pre-heat the overt to 170/180°C or gas mark 3

Ingredients

10 oz (283g) butter

10 oz brown sugar

1 level tablespoon black treacle

grated rind of 2 lemons

5 large eggs

2 tablespoons of brandy or sherry

12 oz (340g) plain flour

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 1.5 lb (680g) currents

0.75 lb (340g) sultannas

0.75 lb (340g) raisins

4 oz  (113g) blanched chopped almonds - I like to chop the almonds myself for a coarse texture rather than using pre-chopped almonds that tend to be a cut very finely

3 oz (85g) whole candied lemon peel

1 oz (28g) chopped angelica

4 oz (113g) whole and broken cherries

rich-fruit-cake-mix-1.jpg

 

Baking Instructions 

  1. Place the dried fruit, cherries, angelica and peel in a bowl and stir through the brandy or sherry    
  2. Cream the softened butter together with the brown sugar and black treacle until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one by one, add a little of the sieved flour if the mixture shows signs of curdling.
  4. Whe all of the eggs have been added stir in the nuts and fruit mixture until evenly distributed and lastly mix through the flour.
  5. Pack the cake atter into the prepared tin ensuring that it is well patted down. Level the top and make a well in the centre to give a level top when baked.
  6. Put two layers of grease proof paper, which has a small hole cut out in the middle to let the steam out, over the top and tie a strip of brown paper round the outside of the tin to protect the sides and top of the cake. If you don't have brown papaer a thick wad of newspaper works too although it does smell a little odd when it first goes in the oven
  7. Bake at 170/180°C or gas mark 3 for 90 - 120 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 150°C or gas mark 1 - 2 for a further 2.5 to 3 hours.
  8. When the cake is cooked remove it from the oven and leave it to cool before removing it from the tin.
  9. Remove the greaseproof paper and wrap in fresh greaseproof paper followed by tin foil. You can give the cake an initial 'feed' with sherry or brandy before wrapping the cake for storage.
  10. Feed the cake 3 or 4 times over the same number of weeks by pricking the top with a skewer to help the brandy or sherry soak in.
  11. Ensure you re-wrap the cake thoroughly after each feed.