Friday, 22 November 2013

No fuss Christmas cake 2013



I can't believe it's coming up to that time of year again, so on a free day yesterday I decided to make my Christmas cake. Not that you need a full day to make this cake, it's so easy and quick to make. Have a head start and soak the fruit overnight and it will only take a few hours. Some of you may remember I posted the same recipe last year, some of you may have even made it. I know one friend who made it who didn't usually make one. I forgot to ask her what she thought of it. Jane M was it nice?
I just love the smell of christmas cakes baking in the oven. The whole house is filled with a fruity, christmasy aroma. Give this recipe a try if it's your first attempt at a Christmas cake. It's a really simple, there is no lengthy list of ingredients and it doesn't need to be made months in advance.

Ingredients
cuts in 24 slices
250g  each plump raisins and sultanas 
100g dried cranberries or blueberries (I always use cranberries)
200g natural glace cherries, halved 
200ml vanilla vodka (or normal vodka with 2 tbsp vanilla extract)
150g roasted Marcona almonds ( I use 150g pre-ground almonds)
200g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 
200g unrefined dark muscovado sugar 
4 medium eggs, beaten 
100g  plain flour 

Method
Put the raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries and cherries in a large bowl. Add the vodka and stir well. Cover and leave to soak for 2-3hr or overnight. 
Grease and line the base and sides of a 8in round tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 150ÂșC. If using whole almonds, put the almonds in a food processor and blend lightly until coarsely chopped. Tip out 75g and blend the remainder until ground. (no need for this step if you are using ground almonds from a packet).
Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a handheld electric whisk for 2-3min until light and creamy. Gradually whisk in the beaten eggs, adding a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle. (mine often looks like it is starting to curdle) Stir in the ground and chopped nuts (or just add the bag of ground almonds) and flour. 
Tip the soaked fruit mixture into the bowl with any unabsorbed liqueur. Mix well, then spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 3½ (check at 3 hours mine is usually done then) or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove and wrap in a double thickness of foil until ready to decorate. Once baked you can boost the cakes vanilla flavour by dousing with extra vodka before wrapping it it and storing it.


Note: While the cake is baking I place a piece of grease proof paper on the top of the tin. Cut a hole the size of a 50p piece coin in the middle of it. This will help stop the top of the cake burning. 

2 comments:

  1. Made this today Sally, so easy even I managed it!

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  2. Can't remember if you usually make one Elaine, but I'm pleased you gave this one a try.

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