Christmas Fruitcake Success

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Head Chef
Dec 13, 2003
I tried a new recipe for Christmas cake this year, and didn't want to post the recipe until testing had taken place ;) The cake was spicy and delicious.

Christmas Cake

10oz sultanas
10oz raisins
10oz currants
6oz glace cherries
6oz mixed peel
¼ pint brandy or rum (or orange juice)
2 Tablespoons sherry (optional)
2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
8oz self raising flour
3 oz ground almonds
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
8oz unsalted butter room temperature
8 oz dark muscovado sugar (dark brown sugar – any sugar will do really)
6 eggs
zest and juice one large unwaxed lemon.

1. Put fruit and peel in a bowl and pour over the brandy or rum and sherry. Mix well and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for at lest a month. Stir the fruits once a week, adding more booze or juice if they look dry.

2. One the fruits are plump, start making the cake. Heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 130 degrees Celsius if fan oven. Butter a 20cm diameter round cake tin, about 7.5 centimetres deep, and line the base and sides with greasproof paper. To protect the cake from burning, tie a double layer of greaseproof paper around the outside of the tin.

3. Blitz the soaked fruit mixture in three batches in a food processor, blitzing the final batch only lightly to keep some bight and texture to the fruit. Mix the flour, almonds and spices in a large bowl and stir in the fruits. Don’t worry if it’s hard to mix.

4. Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Stir into the fruit mixture bit by bit, along with the lemon zest and the juice.

5. Tip the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 ½ hours, reduce the heat to 140 degrees Celsius, or 120 degrees in a fan oven and bake for 3 – 3 ½ hours. Take care it doesn’t overcook. Insert a skewer deep into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done. Cool slightly, remove from the tin, and cool on a wire rack.

6. Store in a double layer of greaseproof paper, wrapped in foil. You can store the cake up to 3 months. It is suggested to “feed” the cake ever couple of weeks, by making skewer holes in the cake, and pouring in brandy or rum, wrapping the cake tightly after each feed.

I iced the top of the cake, although it is not necessary. Firstly brush the cake with melted apricot jam. Roll our 8 oz marzipan and trim to fit the top of the cake. Allow to dry at least a day, then roll out 9 oz ready to roll icing and lay on top of the marzipan.

Key tip: I used a loose bottom cake tin (not a springform) and used the round base as a template for the icing.
I quite like stollen too, it's German, and has a marzipan centre, it's a yeast dough traditionally so quite different from fruitcake. Fruitcake is very traditional in England.
The Italian fruited Christmas bread is pannettone, usually bought in big boxes. Stollen is definitely German, I have seen it without the marzipan, but it's much better with (I love marzipan) In Germany it's known as Christstollen, and originates in the German city of Dresden.
It is definitely on my list of place to spend I mean vist, in your fine city. I drool over their website regularly!!!! I even wrote down the name of the deli when I lived in Launceston before I knew I was going to come over and live!!!!!
I went to school with daughters of the shopowners.... Teatime invites were always welcome!

Nick Nairn said at one of the courses I took, that when he goes into the shop, just for one or two things, he somehow miraculously finds the entire boot of the car FILLED with goodies!

PS One of my Christmas treats is another NN cookery course - I'll wait for the summer weather before booking the date.....

Launceston? So, you're from Tazzy? Have you discovered that it's pronounced quite differently in Cornwall - ie Lawnston, not Lawn seston?!!!

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