I know I'm in a minority these days but I am a big fan of Christmas cake. When I was younger Mum would have bought slabs of "iced fruit cake" through the year for me, not just at Christmas. Last year I made my first ever Christmas Cake using Mum's Christmas Cake recipe. I watched Delia's Christmas Special a few weeks ago and loved the look of her Creole Christmas Cake and decided I just had to try it. It takes a good bit of time seeing as the dried fruits are to steep in the alcohol for a week! Then the baking takes 3 hours and after that there's the extra "feeding" but that's only if you want more alcohol in it!
It's a truly delicious cake - I was excited to try it from the moment it came out of the oven but I was good and waited to steal a few crumbs when it was taken out of the tin!
Creole Christmas Cake
For the pre-soaking 3 tbsp dark rum 3 tbsp brandy 3 tbsp port 3 tbsp cherry brandyI added an extra tbsp of rum, brandy and port instead 1½ tsp Angostura bittersLeft this out - couldn't find it! ½ level tsp ground cinnamon ½ level tsp ground nutmeg ½ level tsp ground cloves ½ level tsp salt 1½ tsp vanilla extract 1 level tbsp molasses sugar 2 oz (50 g) glacé cherries, chopped 1 lb (450 g) raisins 4 oz (110 g) pitted no-soak prunes, chopped I used sultanas instead 8 oz (225 g) currants 4 oz (110 g) mixed candied peel 2 oz (50 g) mixed chopped nuts
For the cake: 9 oz (250 g) self-raising flour 9 oz (250 g) demerara sugar 9 oz (250 g) butter, at room temperature 5 large eggs
Recipe 1. Mix together the fruits, spices, salt, vanilla, molasses and alcohol and store in a container for a week. Give the container a shake every now and again during this time.
2. Preheat the oven to 275˚F (140˚C) when you're ready to bake. 3. Measure out the flour, sugar and butter into a very large bowl and mix together. 4. Add and mix in the eggs one at a time. 5. Gradually stir in the dried fruit mixture until all is combined. 6. Pour into a greased and lined 9" round tin, then bake in the oven for 3 hours. 7. Leave to cool for 45mins in the tin then once cool wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and in an airtight container. 8. If you're wanting to "feed" the cake pierce a few holes in the cake and pour a little brandy into each one, repeat once a week for 4 weeks.
If you're decorating the traditional way, spread apricot glaze over the cake then cover with marzipan, dampen the marzipan a little and cover with white icing.