Ingredients500g each sultanas and raisins
200ml Amaretto (Armagnac or brandy would also work)
100g cranberries or other dried red fruit
250g good-quality prunes, chopped but not too carefully
Grated zest and juice of a lemon and an orange
100g molasses sugar
150g darkest brown sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened; make sure you have extra for greasing
4 large free range eggs (beaten)
250g plain flour
1 tbsp treacle
1.5 tsp mixed spice
0.5 tsp ginger
Handy HintAlthough this is a Christmas cake recipe I find it's also a good go-to batch bake for fetes etc, but you will need very large containers indeed! I feed quite a bit more alcohol than the recipe recommends - this makes it crumbly but heck, who cares by then? [wink] This recipe is an amended version of a GHI one, the original uses Armagnac and sour cherries. Keeps for up to 3 months. I found this recipe also worked well in a silicone tray designed for large muffins, which made lovely mini cakes.
Method1. Place fruit and 150ml of the alcohol in a large non-metallic container with the citrus zest and juices, cover and then leave overnight.
2. Next day, preheat oven to 150C.
3. Line a cake tin (9in).
4. Whisk sugar and butter together until fluffy.
5. Beat in eggs bit by bit, if you think it might curdle add a touch of the flour (I tend to anyway to minimise risk).
6. Beat in treacle.
7. Sift in flour, a pinch of salt and spices.
8. Fold gently with large metal spoon.
9. Fold in fruit /alcohol mix. Tip into tin and level.
10. Wrap some brown paper twice around outer edge of tin to protect.
11. Bake Christmas cake for 3.5 hours or until knife appears clean, then cool for ten minutes before placing on rack.
12. Feed 10ml alcohol after a fortnight; additional feeding as you wish.