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Traditional Christmas cake
dessert recipes | serves 16
1. The night before, place the dried fruit in a saucepan with the booze and bring to a simmer. Pour into a bowl, cool, cover and leave to soften.
2. The following day, preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2 and line the base and sides of a 23cm round tin or a 20cm square tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper. Youll need the side lining to be a good 8cm higher than the tin.
3. If youd like your cake to be particularly moist, blitz half the soaked fruit in a food processor to make a paste, and stir back into the rest of the fruit. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Grate in the zest of your lemon and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the treacle. Sift the flour and combine with the spices and ground almonds. Mix into the butter mixture, alternating with the soaked fruit. Finally, fold in the walnuts. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and bake in the oven for about 3 hours. Check after 2½ hours and then every 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
4. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush with a little more booze. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove, placing it directly onto a large sheet of tin foil. Wrap it up twice to retain the heat for as long as possible. After a few hours, remove the foil and wrap the cake up again in a double sheet of greaseproof paper and a double sheet of tin foil, making sure you can access the cake from the top. Store in an airtight container for 212 weeks. During this time, feed the cake the alcohol of your choice by gently pouring it over the top and rewrapping.
Recipe Georgie Socratous
Photo Laura Edwards
from Issue 13
ingredients 600g raisins
100g dried sour or glacι cherries
250g mixed dried fruits try prunes, apricots, apples, pears finely chopped
400ml booze, plus extra to feed the cake (brandy, sherry, Tia Maria and rum all work well)
300g butter, at room temperature
200g dark brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp treacle
300g plain flour
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
150g ground almonds
150g walnuts, chopped