Rather belatedly, I made our christmas cake last night; I’d normally have done it in November, but what with the move and all …
I use a variation on a tried and tested Nigel Slater recipe, and here it is:
Prepare a 20cm deep cake pan – grease well, line with a double thickness of greaseproof paper, with the sides lined to above the top by a couple of inches.
Amass 1kg of dried fruit – I used figs, prunes, apricots, dates, raisins and sultanas, as that was what was in the baking box, and cut it into small pieces. This is tedious, but I didn’t bother so much last year, and it wasn’t as nice.
Cream 250g butter and 250g brown sugar together – I used about half and half dark muscovado and demerara. Beat until it’s light and fluffy, or as light and fluffy as it can be with muscovado in it ..
Add three eggs one by one – don’t worry, it will curdle, probably.
Add 65g of ground almonds, and 100g of shelled hazelnuts, 3 tablespoons of alcohol (recipe says brandy, but I generally use whiskey, and this year I used good bourbon!), zest and juice of an orange, half a teaspoon of baking powder, and 250g of plain flour. And the fruit.
My mixer always gives up at this point and I have to fold it all together by hand.
Put it in the tin, cook for one hour at gas mark 3, then 1.5 hours at gas 2 – don’t open the oven to prod it until the end. Leave to cool in the tin, then wrap tightly in foil, and feed it with more alcohol every few days.
We eat as is, as we don’t much like icing. Merry Christmas!