In November every year I pull on my apron and cook up a Christmas storm! I gift mini cakes to family and friends and if you’ve followed me for a while you’ll also know I consume a few 😂
1kg mixed dried fruit
150g glace cherries (halved)
300g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
300g butter (softened)
250g brown sugar
½ lemon (zested)
6 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup Brandy
- Heat oven to 150 C. Line a 9 inch cake tin with baking paper (I also put mine on an oven tray with foil underneath tin to prevent the bottom from burning)
- Mix the dried fruit with the cherries, flour, salt, and spices.
- In another (big) bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir through lemon zest.
- Add small amount of beaten egg to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Once all egg is added, fold in half the flour and fruit and once mixed repeat with the remaining flour and fruit.
- Stir through the brandy.
- Put mixture into tin and push it down slightly to make sure there are no air pockets.
- Bake for 4 hours and then check that the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the middle. It should come out clean. If not, bake for 30 minute increments until cooked.
- Let the cake cool for an hour in the tin. After an hour place it on a wire rack until completely cool. Once it is cooled, prick the top a few times with a skewer and add a couple of lid fulls of brandy before putting it in an airtight container.
- Soak your dried fruit and cherry mix overnight (or for a week) in the brandy. Makes the fruit fuller and moist.
- If you notice the cake is browning too quickly you can cover it with a piece of baking paper or foil.
- The cake is so high in sugar from both the fruits and the brown sugar that it needs to be cooked on a low heat for a long time. Too high and it will burn.
- You can make smaller cakes, just adjust the time accordingly. I make smaller round cakes and they only take around 2 hours to cook.
- Once a week I will open up my cake container and pour another couple of lids of brandy onto the cake, in those same spots you pricked when you made it. I let it dry for five minutes and then put it away again.
- The cake can be made up to 8 weeks before Christmas if you store correctly.