I have a very good raisin and festive reason for posting this recipe today: make a Christmas cake this weekend. Action that, Christmas!
Christmas cake needs no introduction, so allow the drumming sound of sultanas hitting and pitting the weighing scales to be our fanfare.
For a gloriously fruity (and nut free) Christmas cake, you will need:
8oz plain flour
6 oz butter
6 oz dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
A pinch of salt
1 lb raisins, washed and dried thoroughly
1 lb sultanas, washed and dried thoroughly
8 oz glacé cherries, chopped in half
2 oz candied mixed peel
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 lemon (for the rind and the juice)
2 tablespoons of French brandy plus a little extra
A dash of Courvoisier
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
Line your cake tin (8 inch diameter) with greaseproof paper.
Wash the raisins and sultanas and dry thoroughly with clean kitchen roll. Put them into a large bowl and add the halved cherries and candied mixed peel. Drizzle over a little brandy and stir so that the alcohol is fully incorporated.
Add the orange and lemon rind and squeeze the lemon juice all over the fruit and set aside.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl and add the salt and stir, then divide the mixture into two.
Mix one portion with the prepared fruit.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter until soft and add the eggs, one at a time, and the sugar and stir, making sure you’ve got all the gritty bits out of the sugar. Fold in the other portion of the flour and stir.
Add a tablespoon or two more of French brandy and make a wish as you stir!
Pour the mix into the prepared cake tin and level with a spoon.
Pop the cake into the middle of the oven for 2 ½ hours and insert a skewer to test (it should come out clean if it’s done).
Take it out the oven.
(This recipe will make one big cake, but if, like me, you’re entertaining over Christmas and think you’ll want two then obviously just double the ingredients!)
Afterwards, make small holes in the cake with a cocktail stick and brush over a little Courvoisier.