Every Christmas, I visit my very good friends at the Jayne household. Their home is a veritable wonderland of fresh Christmas trees, decorations, booze, and more food than you can shake a stick at. So, when I heard that Julie (Mother Jayne) was being her usual organised self and getting the Christmas cake made, baked, and injected with regular shots of alcohol, I thought it was only fair to share it with the KB masses.
So, without further ado, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of Mother Jayne and her delectable Christmas cake recipe…
Yes, it’s that time again! There is no doubt that the earlier you make your Christmas cake the better it is. I always like to get mine made in October as that gives you plenty of time to ‘feed’ it with sherry or brandy (hic) before covering with marzipan and icing. But don’t despair; this is a very straightforward recipe which gives great results!
- 1 kg dried mixed fruit
- 100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 100g ready-to-eat-dried figs, roughly chopped
- 80 g whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 150ml sherry
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 175g dark brown soft sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 5 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 300g plain flour
- 75g self-raising flour
- 1 tablespoon mixed spice
- 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
It’s very important to soak the fruit overnight as this helps to keep the cake lovely and moist.
- In a large non-metallic bowl, mix together the dried fruit, apricots, figs, almonds, orange zest and juice. Add sherry, cover, and allow to soak overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 150C, 300F, gas mark 2. Grease and double line the base and sides of a 20cm square or round deep cake tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the golden syrup. Stir the vanilla essence into the eggs, then gradually beat into the combined butter and sugar mixture.
- Sieve the flours and mixed spice together. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold into the cake mixture. Then fold in the marmalade and soaked fruit mixture.
- Place the mixture into your prepared tin, smoothing down the top but making a small dip in the centre.
- Bake in the centre of your oven for 3-3 ½ hours, or until a skewer comes out clean when put into the middle of the cake. If the top has browned enough after 2½-3 hours, cover the cake loosely with foil for the remainder of the cooking time.
- Remove from the oven, leaving to cool for at least an hour in the tin, then turn out onto wire rack.
- When completely cool, wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight container.
- Once a week, unwrap the cake and prick holes in the base. Pour over about a tablespoon of sherry or brandy. Once soaked in, re-wrap your cake.
I have used this recipe for many years and it really does produce a very moist, rich Christmas cake.
Watch this space for info on marzipan and icing later. Now get baking!
(Honorary Kitchen Bitch) Julie xx