December Recipe – Easy Fruit Christmas Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 300g  plain flour
  • 250g  butter, softened
  • 250g  light muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 410g jar of mincemeat
  • 3- 4 tbsp brandy (Can be substituted with orange, grape or apple juice)
  • 500g dried mixed fruit, soaked overnight with a tbsp of brandy
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 20cm round or 18cm square cake tin, lined with baking parchment

Method

  1. To ensure the cake is positioned centrally in the oven, put one of the shelves just below the centre of it. Set the oven to 140°C/280°F/Gas Mark 1.
  2. Lightly grease the base and sides of your chosen tin and line with baking parchment. To prevent the outside edges of the cake drying out, tie a double band of brown paper, 3cm deeper than the depth of the tin, around the outside of the tin.
  3. Break the eggs into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the remaining brandy. Beat the mixture until smooth, then spoon it into the lined cake tin. With a wet spoon, press the mixture into the tin and smooth on top, so that it’s level then in the centre make a slight hollow as this will help the cake to have a level top when cooked .
  4. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 3 – 3.5 hours, or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake. If the top is getting too brown, cover with foil or greaseproof paper.
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack. Leave the cake to cool for about 15 minutes, then spoon over the brandy. Leave it to cool completely in the tin.
  6. Remove the cake from the tin and wrap it in more baking parchment and then foil, and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, until ready to cover with icing and decorate. If desired once a week ‘feed’ the cake with a drizzle of brandy.

Cook’s Tip

Soak your dried fruit overnight in a glass bowl if you’re choosing to make a non-alcoholic Christmas cake to avoid the cake being too dry.  Keep the cake in an airtight tin and don’t feed the cake with brandy.