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Christmas Cake

For a deep 8" Cake Tin
110g (4 oz.) Yellow Sultanas
110g (4 oz.) Lexia Stoned Raisins
225g (8 oz.) Glace Cherries
110g (4 oz.) Crystallized Pineapple
60g (2 oz) Crystallized Ginger
60g (2 oz.) Angelica
110g (4 oz.) Walnuts
60g (2 oz) Candied Citron Peel
60g (2 oz) Candied Orange Peel
60g (2 oz) Candied Lemon Peel
Glass of Irish Whiskey
(this is 850g ( 30 oz) dried fruit and110g( 4 oz.) nuts in total)
5 Eggs
280g (10 oz.) Butter
Grated Rind and Juice of 1 Lemon
225g (8 oz). Caster Sugar
280g (10 oz.) Plain Flour
Good pinch Salt

Note: You can use different dried fruits and nuts so long as the end weight is the same.

First prepare the tin.
Butter the tin well and line it with two thicknesses of baking parchment deeper than the tin and coming up over the edge.
Pre Heat the oven to Gas 3, 160C,325F.

Soak the Sultanas and the Raisins in the whiskey for two hours.
Halve or quarter the cherries and chop the peel (if you are using whole peel) and cut the angelica, pineapple ginger and nuts into dice.
Beat the eggs until thick and foamy.
Beat the butter with the sugar and the lemon rind until pale and fluffy.
Add the beaten eggs a little at a time and stir well after each addition.
(If it starts to curdle fold in some of the flour)
Mix the salt into the flour and stir this into the mixture thoroughly but lightly. Then stir in the lemon juice.
Stir in the fruit , a little at a time, and then the whiskey.
Put the mixture into the prepared tin and make a hollow depression on the centre of the top to help it to rise evenly.

Cook at the prepared temperature for one hour and then reduce the temperature to Gas 2, 150C, 300F. and cook for another hour at this temperature.(If you have a fan oven I would reduce it to Gas1,140C,275F at this stage.)
From this on it is in your hands.Use a skewer to test the cake into the centre.
It should come out clean. Depending on the actual temperature of your oven this can take anytime between 1 to 2 hours more. If the cake is getting brown on top and still not cooked in the centre cover the top with some bakewell paper.

Once it is cooked leave it to cool in the tin.
(If you like you can pour some more whiskey over it at this stage and more from time to time afterwards should you like a strongly alcoholic cake)
The following day take it out of the tin but leave it in the baking parchment and wrap in tinfoil until needed.

If you don't want to go to the bother of icing the cake glaze the top with some warmed sieved apricot jam, make a pattern on the top with some toasted nuts and some cherries and then glaze these with the jam as before.

April 14, 2006 09:12 PM | 0 Comments
  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef