Overall, I found this recipe very easy to follow, although next time I need to remember to turn the cake over before it is iced, as the top of it was quite bumpy, as you can probably see from the photos!
- 325g (12oz) self-raising flour
- 125g (4oz) ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 225g (8oz) butter, softened slightly
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 8 tablespoon milk
- 225g (8oz) currants
- 225g (8oz) sultanas
- 225g (8oz) raisins
- 125g (4oz) glazed cherries
- 125g (4oz) mixed peel
- Heat oven to 150C (300F).
- Grease and line a 9 inch round tin. It is easier to remove the baked cake from a loose-bottomed tin.
- Sieve the flour, spice and ground almonds together into a large mixing bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a separate bowl with a hand-held electric whisk or in a mixer.
- Beat the eggs lightly with the milk in a jug or bowl.
- A little at a time, stir the flour mixture alternately with the egg mixture into the creamed butter and sugar.
- Finally, add all the dried fruit. Stir it carefully and thoroughly until everything is well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Attach a deep strip of tin foil or brown paper around the tin to stand a couple of inches above the top. This will protect the top of the cake from burning while the inside is cooking.
- Bake in the oven for about 4 hours.
- Check the cake after about 3 hours. If necessary cover the top for the remainder of the cooking time.
- To check if the cake is cooked through, gently insert a thin metal skewer into the centre and it should come out clean.
- When the cake is ready, remove the foil or paper and allow the cake to rest in the tin for a short while.
- Carefully run a flat knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cake. Gently push the loose-bottom of the tin up to remove the cake.
- Place on to a wire rack to cool, removing the bottom of the tin and greaseproof paper, and leave to cool completely.
- When cold, wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and tin foil until required for decorating.
Decorating the Christmas Cake
- Roll out home-made or bought almond paste (marzipan).
- Brush the cake with apricot jam and press the marzipan to the outside and top of the cake.
- Add icing of choice to the cake, covering the marzipan completely.
- Allow to set, then tie a red ribbon around the cake and decorate with holly or similar Christmas decoration.
- If using Royal Icing, this can be pulled into rough peaks with a flat knife, once it is spread on the cake, to give a snowy effect.