Fabulous Christmas Cake

A good Christmas Cake should be rich, it should taste like dried fruit and spices and alcohol. It should have a moist texture. It must be a special treat and can be served with a slice of Wenseydale Cheese

Ingredients

500 g Mixed Fruit
75 g Dried Cherries
75 g Dried Cranberries
100 g Blanched Flaked Almonds
200 g Mixed Candied Peel
200 g Glace Cherries, halved
300 g Plain Flour
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
2 Lemons, zest and juice
250 g Unsalted Butter
250 g Soft Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Black Treacle
4 Medium Free Range Eggs
0,5 Tsp Bicarboate of Soda
1 Tbsp Milk
Brandy to taste

Method

Preheat the Oven to 140 degrees C
Line  a 20 cm (8 inch) cake tin with a layer of brown pape
In a large bowl mix together the Dried Fruit, Peel, Candied Fruit and Glace Cherries
Add 2 Tbsp Brandy, or to taste, mix and leave overnight covered
Turn the fruit well and add the Flour, Spices, Almonds, Lemon Zest and Lemon Juice
Using a food mixer, cream the Butter and Brown Sugar thoroughly
Add the Vanilla Extract and Black Tracle
Still beating incorporate the Eggs
Stir the mixture thoroughly into the bowl of fruit
Dissole the Bicarbonate of Soda with the Milk and stir thoroughly into the mixture
Add further Brandy to taste - 2 Tbsp - until you achieve a dropping consistency
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and hollow the top slightly
Place in the Oven and bake for 3.5 hours
Test with a skewer, and if it is just dry the cake is ready
Remove the cake from the Oven and leave it to cool in its tin
When cool, remove and peel off the brown paper
Wrap in Cling Film and foil and place in an airtight tin
Keep the cake for at least a month before icing and decorating

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