Monday, 29 September 2014

Christmas Cake 2014!

Like I do every year, I started making the Christmas cakes in September as is tradition. I macerated the fruit for a week, then began the mass production of wheat and dairy free cakes. I made 4 successful cakes in total, but I messed up the first one by accidentally mixing baking powder into the flour by force of habit; that one we're eating as a tea brack.

I've always loved Christmas cake, and this year it's just as delicious as ever. I did, however, subsidise some of the sherry with cold strong tea to make it go further, as I was macerating 4 pounds (2 kilogrammes) of fruit in one go to make a load of cakes.

They have gone into storage, wrapped in cling film then tin foil, to mature until December when I will cover them all in marzipan and icing.

Here is the recipe for the cakes, it's a slightly modified version of last year's one (not much, just a little)

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat

☒ Alcohol (use ingredients in italics for an alcohol-free version)
☒ Nuts (use ingredients in italics for a nut-free version)

Makes 1 8 inch (20 centimetre) round cake

For the fruit preserve:
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) dried currants
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) raisins
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) sultanas
  • 3 ounces (85 grammes) glacé cherries
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) candied mixed citrus peel
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) slivered almonds
    • For a nut free version, simply replace that ounce (30 grammes) of almonds with another fruit of some sort.
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) brown sugar
  • 1¾ fluid ounces (50 millilitres) rum, spiced or plain
  • 5 fluid ounces (150 millilitres) dry sherry
    • For an alcohol free version, just use 7 fluid ounces (200 millilitres) cold strong tea instead of the rum and sherry.

For the cake mixture
  • 4 ounces (85 grammes) butter or block margarine
  • 4 ounces (85 grammes) soft brown sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) white spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix
  • 1 ounce (30 grammes) ground almonds
    • For a nut free version, just replace this with an ounce (30 grammes) of cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or almond essence

First mix all the fruit preserve ingredients together in a glass or ceramic bowl. Mix thoroughly, and leave somewhere cool (but not in the fridge) for a week before preparing the cake, stirring daily. For best results, the cake should be made at least a month before serving, so by extension the fruit mixture should be prepared about a month and a half in advance.
    When the fruit has soaked:
    • Prepare your cake tin. Grease and flour the inside, and then double line the bottom and sides with baking paper. Preheat the oven to Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F, Gas Mk.2, or moderately cool) and set the rack in the centre of the oven with plenty of room to spare from the rack above it.
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy with a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer.
    • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla or almond essence, and then the ground almonds.
    • Sieve in the flour, spice and salt and mix in until the flour has just disappeared.
    • Add the fruit preparation and combine thoroughly.
    • Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake for 1½ hours.
    • Start checking for doneness after about an hour and a quarter. The cake is baked when a skewer inserted into the thickest part - usually the middle - comes out completely clean. If it isn't, continue cooking but don't cook for more than 1½ hours in total; it'll be dry and chewy.
    • Once cooked, allow to cool completely in the tin before taking out and transferring to a wire rack.

    THIS TIME LAST YEAR: Free-From Gingerbread Men


    1. That looks delicious!!! Really want to try this!!

      1. Thanks! There's not much making in it, just a lot of ingredients ^_^

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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