...And here is the promised recipe for a lovely moist Christmas fruitcake...
500g dates, shredded
4 ½ packets (250g each) dried fruitcake mix OR
500g seedless raisins and 375g golden sultanas and 250g mixed candied citrus peel
450g butter, at room temperature
475g brown sugar
9 large free-range eggs
600g cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
2ml ground cloves
2ml ground cinnamon
2ml ground mace
50ml ginger syrup
125g ginger preserve, finely shredded (make your own!)
125g walnuts, chopped
Grated rind of 1 lemon
250g glace cherries, halved and sprinkled lightly with flour
The night before place the dates, cake mixture or raisins, sultanas and candied citrus peel in a container and pour over the 200ml of brandy. Close tightly.
Butter a 25cm cake tin, line it with three layers buttered brown paper and set aside. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
Cream the butter and brown sugar and add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix with the butter mixture. Stir in the fruit mixture and add the ginger syrup, preserved ginger, walnuts and lemon rind. Mix well.
Spoon a layer of the batter into the tin, followed by a layer of cherries. Repeat until everything has been used, ending with a layer of batter.
Cover the tin with a round paper plate or use a piece of cardboard cut to size.
Bake for 4 hours, remove the plate and bake for another hour or until done. Remove from the oven and pour 60ml brandy evenly over the hot cake. Leave in the tin to cool.
Wrap tightly in aluminium foil and place in a container with a tight-fitting lid,
Pour a few tots of brandy over the cake every seventh day, closing it tightly each time.
Makes one large cake or two smaller cakes...
For decorating ideas and other festive bakes and cakes, see this post from Christmas 2013!
~ Have a truly beautiful day, sweet readers ~