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Friday, 1 February 2013

Best ever Christmas Cake

I realise that january is probably the least appropriate month for sharing this recipe, but I simply can't resist. It is the very best christmas cake recipe I have ever used. It's only in recent years that i've actually decided that I like fruit cakes. I was always a staunch chocolate cake person. However, the rich complexity of flavours that a fruit cake (especially one which has been maturing for two months) offers,  is second to none. In fact it's so good, that the cake was eaten in no less than three weeks by only two greedy mouths and I've already made another one in preparation for my birthday afternoon tea i'm having in april.

This recipe is from BBC Good Food and is called a 'simmer and stir cake'.

175g butter, chopped
200g dark muscovado sugar
750 mixed dried fruits e.g. rasins, sultanas, mixed peel and glace cherries
finely grated zest and juice of one orange
100ml brandy, plus 4 tbsp more
3 large eggs, beaten
100g ground almonds
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground all spice

1. Place the butter, sugar, fruits, zests, juice and 100ml of the brandy into a large pan. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat and bubble for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and leave for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the over to 150 degrees celsius.
4. Stir the eggs, nuts, and almonds into the fruit mixture.
5. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan.
6. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth down evenly.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn down the heat to 140 degrees celsius and the cake is dark golden and firm to the touch.
8. Make holes all over the top of the cake with a skewer and pour over the remaining four spoons of brandy.
9. All to cool completely on a wire rack before covering in many layers of foil and storing in an air tight container in a cool place.

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