This year I am a little late in making my Christmas cakes - but better late than never! I couldn't find my recipe on DC, although I thought I'd posted it - so forgive me if you think you've read it before - you probably HAVE!
Here's my traditional British Christmas cake recipe
6oz mixed peel
4oz glace cherries
grated rind of half a lemon and the juice of 1 lemon
¾lb unsalted butter
¾lb moist brown sugar
¾lb plain flour
Â½ level tsp cinnamon
Â½ level tsp nutmeg
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 level tbs black treacle
At least 4 good tablespoons of brandy, rum or sherry plus extra to 'feed' cake when baked.
Grease a 9-10 inch tin. Cream butter, sugar and grated lemon rind until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix dry ingredients together well. Add to creamed butter etc. Combine thoroughly. Mix in the chosen alcohol and lemon juice (add a little extra if the mixture seems too stiff) to form a dropping consistency. Turn into lined tin, ensure there are no pockets of air and the surface of the mixture is flat. Tie a double band of brown paper around the tin - approximately 3 inches above the rim of the tin. Place in oven one rung below the middle at 160 degrees centigrade/325F/gas mark 2. Bake for 2 hours and then reduce heat to 150C/300F/Gas mark 1 for a further 1½-2 hours. Leave the cake to cool in the tin. Remove paper and turncake upside down and make holes with a steel knitting needle or cocktail stick. Pour in extra spirit and leave cake upside down until the spirit has been absorbed. Wrap the cake in fresh greaseproof paper and leave for at least 48 hours before icing. Before icing, the cake can be stored for up to 2 months wrapped in foil. Keep "feeding" the cake with alcohol until you are ready to put the marzipan layer and then royal icing onto it.