Christmas cakes that contain alcohol should be made about a month ahead of time to allow the flavor to mature. Incredibly, fruit cakes containing alcohol can be stored for around 9 months if in an airtight container.
What you need
500g mixed candied citrus peel
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
375g soft butter
375g treacle sugar
Heat the oven to 150 Celsius.
Lightly butter and line a deep cake tin(should be 28cm x about 17cm deep) with grease proof paper. (cut a circle for the bottom and then line the sides)
Sift together the flour, salt, nutmeg and allspice onto a piece of grease proof paper.
In another bowl(large), cream together the sugar and butter until a creamy texture is reached. Take an electric beater and add the eggs one at a time to the sugar mixture beating well after each addition.
Add the flour in 3 batches, stirring by hand to combine after each batch. Add the dried fruits and the brandy and mix by hand.
Scoop the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Then take the back of a spoon and create a depression in the center by pressing with the back of the spoon(about ½ cm deep)
Place in the oven for 2 ½ hours, test with a metal skewer to see that it comes out clean. If not, return to the oven covered with tin foil (you don’t want it to become too dark brown)for a further 15 – 30 minutes and test again.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
I am not mad about marzipan so prefer to melt some smooth apricot jam with a little brandy and paint it over the cake before serving.
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