When I signed up for NZBPP, I immediately made a rich Christmas cake which I normally don't bake. Well, a sultana cake or a light fruit cake might do much for me as I like dried fruits, but rich Christmas cake is really rich for my stomach. It's moistened by the well-soaked dried fruits and it's concreted by dried fruits. To my surprise, it's very easy to do it. Not much washing up, just a big mixing bowl.
Then, Tim wrote a thank you email the other day telling me that he was enjoying the goodies I sent. I was so glad and relief. It's upon Tim's request I write this fruit cake recipe.
I used the recipe from the Edmond Cookbook, but I also combine it with a fruit cake recipe from Lois Daish cookbook called 'A Good Year' [Listener, 2005. Random House] which adding marmalade, grated orange zest. I omitted the use of nuts though.
Rich Christmas Fruit Cake
Source: Edmond Cookbook and A Good Year by Lois Daish
1 3/4 cups orange juice (this I freshly squeezed from the garden)
3/4 cup brandy
2 Tbs grated orange rind
2 Tbs grated lemon rind
150g glace cherries, halved
150g crystallised ginger, chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence
2 1/2 cups high grade flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbs treacle
Bring to boil the orange juice and grated orange rind, then add in all the dried fruits, cherries in a bowl, add in marmalade, grated lemon rind, brandy and mix thoroughly. Cover and set aside to soak overnight (I let them soak fortnight).
Prepare the 22cm deep cake tin, line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 150C.
Sift flour, soda and spices in a bowl. Cream butter, sugar and treacle until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with fruit mixture. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, level surface and bake for about 4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Leave in the tin until cold. Wrap in foil. Store in a cool place.