Christmas Cake Spices

5/5 from 2 Customers

Christmas cake has its roots in the Middle Ages, from two very different dishes eaten around Christmas time: plum porridge and the Twelfth Night cake (eaten on the 5th of January). It was in the 16th century that the oats in plum porridge were replaced by butter, flour and eggs and that richer families began to bake rather than cook or steam the mixture. It evolved further when dried fruit and spices (symbolic of the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men) were added and, with the decline in popularity of celebrations of the Twelfth Night, eventually people started eating Christmas cake on Christmas Eve.

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From: £1.60

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Christmas cake has its roots in the Middle Ages, from two very different dishes eaten around Christmas time: plum porridge and the Twelfth Night cake (eaten on the 5th of January). It was in the 16th century that the oats in plum porridge were replaced by butter, flour and eggs and that richer families began to bake rather than cook or steam the mixture. It evolved further when dried fruit and spices (symbolic of the exotic eastern spices brought by the Wise Men) were added and, with the decline in popularity of celebrations of the Twelfth Night, eventually people started eating Christmas cake on Christmas Eve.

Makes: 1 large Christmas Cake

PREP 5 mins plus overnight soaking
COOK 3 hrs 30 mins
HEAT 1
SERVES 4

You need:

  • 225g butter plus extra for greasing - softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 900g mix of sultanas, raisins and currants
  • 100g glacé cherries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 200ml brandy, sherry or marsala plus extra for 'feeding' the cake
  • 200g soft dark brown sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 80g whole blanched almonds
  • Marzipan and fondant icing to cover the cake
  • 1 portion of CHRISTMAS CAKE SPICES (1 portion = 2 tbsp): coriander, cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, green cardamon, bitter orange

Allergens are listed in CAPITALS. May contain traces of celery, mustard and sesame

Please note if you're making a bigger batch, you'll need to scale up the fresh ingredients in proportion, but the spices only by ⅔ or it will be too intense!

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • 18-22cm springform (or loosebottomed) tin
  • Baking parchment

Method:

  1. Soak the dried fruit, glace cherries and mixed peel in 50ml brandy overnight
  2. The next day preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
  3. Grease and line the cake tin with baking parchment
  4. Beat the butter with the sugar until paler in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined
  5. Fold in the flour, almonds, a pinch of salt and CHRISTMAS CAKE SPICES very gently to keep it light and airy
  6. Stir in the soaked fruit until evenly distributed
  7. Scoop the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Turn the heat down to 150°C/gas mark 2 and bake for a further 1 1⁄2 hours or until the top is firm and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean
  8. Leave to cool then remove from the tin and spoon over 75ml brandy
  9. Once absorbed turn upside down and spoon over the remaining 75ml brandy
  10. ‘Feed’ the cake by spooning over a couple of tbsps of alcohol once a week right up until Christmas (keep it covered with baking parchment and tinfoil so it doesn’t dry out)
  11. Allow the cake a few days without any additional brandy before turning right side up and decorating with marzipan and icing

Product Rating (2):

5/5

Great recipe. Ready to make. Full of fruit

Yasmin Jacobsen

5/5

Could do with a recipe card. But happy with my purchase

Claire Fletcher

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