Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Tis the season to be Jolly
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Oh yes,it’s that time of the year again! It’s Christmas time.Lets get this festive season started with some baking. Christmas baking over the years meant lots of sugar cookies,gingerbread men,puddings,mince pies and Christmas cake of of course. The key to a good Christmas cake starts perhaps days,months or even a year in advance.It’s all about pre soaking the mixture of Raisins,Sultanas,Cranberries and the mixed Peel in some alcohol which lends a wonderful and delicious moistness to this fruit cake.Now if you are pressed for time like I was whilst baking this cake,ensure that the mixture is soaked at least 24 hours before baking the cake. A good Dark rum works great or perhaps even some Brandy,Sherry or some Orange liqueuer.I landed up using some Cuban spiced rum in my pre soak and gosh the house smells boozy!
Well here it is my recipe for a rich,moist and boozy Christmas Cake.I’ve actually followed the basics of the original recipe from Joy Of Baking and have tweaked it around a bit. This cake is a huge hit every year. Each one in the family wanted their own cake this year,with no one compromising to share at all.The possessive husband wanted it all to himself, the impatient Sister couldn’t wait to get her share,and of course there was the Bro in law who said would like two please…I also had my Mum,Mum in law and endless friends that were on the list too.And least I forget to pack some for my darling son who I plan to meet in Spain over the holidays!
So I’ve had a busy past week in my kitchen baking up these cakes for everyone….
It’s still nine sleeps to Christmas,so go ahead and soak some fruit up and bake this cake.
Merry Christmas dear readers and hope you have a wonderful time with your families and loved ones!
1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup (210 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
50-70 ml Dark Rum
Juice and zest of one orange
50 grams grams almonds roughly chopped
800 grams assortment of dried fruit ie raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries, Marschino cherries and mixed Peel
50 grams chopped whole Almonds
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) finely ground almonds
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
Pre soak all the dried fruit in the Rum or Brandy at least 24-48 hours before making the cake. If you have time even a week or month ahead.
1.Preheat oven to 160 C.
2.Grease an 8 inch (20 cm) spring form pan with butter or oil. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Also line the sides of the pan with a strip of parchment paper.
3.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, salt, and baking powder.
4.In another bowl beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.Try not hoover beat else the mixture will curdle. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Now add in the orange juice.
5.Now fold in the chopped nuts and all the dried and candied fruits.Mix well.
7.Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Place the spring form pan on a larger baking sheet.
8.Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees and continue to bake the cake for about 80-90 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness.
8.Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes.Now loosen the cake from the spring form pan and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
9.Prick some holes all over the cake with a toothpick and spoon some rum or orange liquor over the cake.
10.Cling wrap the cake and store in an airtight container.