Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Christmas In July - A Good Reason to have Fruit Cake

Christmas in July - a good reason to tuck into my favourite Christmas treats.  I have a selection of recipes that form my Christmas collection -this is my go to fruit cake. It is moist, full of fruit and keeps very well. Wrap it in foil, then a plastic freezer bag and then finally into a pastic or metal airtight tin. I usually make them early in December or in this case July.

I also make it for gifts at Christmas, and in very small through to large sizes.  I usually multiply the mixture by four and make a a big batch of cakes all at once and then repeat again if necessary. I use a big plastic camping/washing up dish to mix the cake, it is easy to get my electric hand beater into the dish for creaming the butter, after that I mix by hand.

The Twisted Sistas celebrate this event with a Christmas themed supper and Kris Kringle. They are a clever bunch with many small knitting themed gifts exchanged.

Traditional shortbread, chocolate puddings and Christmas cake

and so the gluten free people are not left out, gluten free shortbread, chocolate truffle puddings, and a gluten free Panforte de Sienna.

Fruit Cake

This mixture will make a 6 to 7 inch cake. If you have a little too much mixture for the the tin bake in a muffin tin.  

Substitute more glace cherries/fruits for nuts if preferred.


Stage 1

200 g sultanas
200 g raisins
120 g currants
120 g mixed peel
120 g glace cherries
250 g glace fruits (apricots, figs, pineapple)
250 g nuts (almond slivers, walnuts, pecans)
1 cup brandy/rum/whisky or port

Combine all ingredients in a plastic airtight container or stainless steel/glass bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hrs to allow fruits to absorb all the moisture.

Stage 2

125 g butter - softened
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup marmalade or fruit mince
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon Parisienne essence - optional, makes the cake darker.
¼ cup rum/whisky/brandy to pour over cake after cooking


Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well, add marmalade/fruit mince and vanilla essence.

Sift flour and spices together and stir into butter mixture.

Stir fruit mixture into cake mixture.

Spoon into greased and lined (sides and bottom) cake tin. If you want a level cake make a hollow in the middle, the mixture will melt down from the sides and fill the hollow.

Cake tin should be insulated on the outside with newspaper and placed several layers of newspaper on a tray.  Bake at 150 deg Celsius until a skewer tests clean. (approximately 2 hrs)

Brush or pour rum/whisky or brandy over hot cake. Allow cake to stand in tin for at least 30 minutes. Then remove from cake tin and place on a cooling rack.

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