Merry Christmas Cake...

December 3rd 2013
By: Melanie Hollidge

What could be tastier than a homemade Christmas Cake – perfect to take as a gift for Christmas, wrapped with a beautiful ribbon to be shared and enjoyed…  Here’s a simple but deliciously easy recipe…
You will need to gather these ingredients….

500 g sultanas
500g raisins
250g roughly chopped prunes
100g (bag) dried sour cherries
105ml Armagnac (and extra to drizzle)
1 lemon and 1 orange – finely grated zest of both, and squeezed
100g molasses sugar
150g dark brown sugar
250g unsalted butter (and extra for greasing)
4 large beaten eggs
250 g plain flour
1tbsp black treacle
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ginger
Here’s how to make it….

The night before, put the fruit into a non metallic bowl with the Armagnac, citrus zest and juices – cover the bowl and leave it all to soak.

Preheat the oven 150 °c,  grease and line a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Put the sugar and butter into a bowl – beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs making sure the mixture doesn’t curdle – add a little flour if necessary.

Beat in the black treacle.

Sift the flour, spices and a pinch of salt into the mixture, fold in gently. Then fold in the soaked fruit.

Tip the mixture into the cake tin and level off the surface.

Wrap a double layer of brown paper around the outside edge of the tin *this helps prevent the cake from burning*

Bake for between three and three and a half hours – it’s ready when a skewer comes out clean.

After ten minutes of cooling it in the tin, tip it out onto a wire rack and cool it.

Keep the cake in the greaseproof paper and wrap it in clingfilm, then in foil.

Store in an airtight container and keep it cool.

After two weeks, prick the cake with a metal skewer, drizzle 1tbsp of Armagnac over it – leave it to soak in, rewrap it and store it as before.

It will keep for up to three months.