Before I get chastised for writing a C*&^%$£~s post in October the organised amongst you will be beginning to prep for festive baking time. While Stir-up Sunday, when you traditionally make Christmas Pudding, isn’t until 20thNovember, now is the time to start on the cake to give it sufficient feeding time
The first and possibly most important part of a Christmas Cake is the soaking of the fruit at the beginning. Personally I think it works best with alcohol like sherry, brandy or whisky. Given I’m banned from Hubs’ whisky collection after last year’s expensive whisky Christmas Pudding incident I decided to use sloe gin as we seem to have quite a few forgotten vintages hiding under the stairs.
Baked Bean Tin Christmas Cake
1 hr 30 mins
1 hr 45 mins
12 mini (small baked bean tin) cakes.
Original full sized cake recipe from Prima Christmas 2005 supplement
200 g glace cherries
500 g mixed dried fruit Aldi do a very nice one
500 g sultanas
zest of one orange
200 ml sherry or other suitable alcohol like whisky brandy or sloe gin (if you don’t want to use alcohol, use orange juice instead)
225 g butter softened
225 g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs lightly beaten
225 g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
50 g whole almonds
Put cherries and other dried fruits plus zest in bowl and soak in sherry overnight.
Line the cake tins: Lightly grease base and sides. Line sides with a double thickness of baking parchment that stands 5cm above tin. Make 1 cm cuts at base to help it lie flat. Line base with double layer of parchment.
Preheat oven to 150°c. Whisk butter and sugar for 5 min till light and fluffy. Whisk in eggs slowly. When almost added, whisk in some flour to stop it curdling.
Fold in flour, spices, fruit and almonds. Spoon into lined tin and make a small dip in the middle of the mixture.
Wrap tin in a double thickness of brown paper (or parchment) and tie with piece of string. Cook for 60-90 minutes. If you want the top of the cake to brown a bit more untie the string, so the top of paper is open, for the last quarter an hour.