Sunday, 3 October 2010

Time to bake the Christmas cake!

I don't know about you, but I like to bake my Christmas cake at this time of year so that it has time to mature; I find the flavours mellow and blend together.  I also "feed" it by pricking the surface and pouring over a tablespoon or so of brandy every few weeks.

So, line a 9" cake tin ( I use pre-shaped paper cases that I bought in a catering shop that was closing down!), and bake my wheat free, vegan Christmas cake:

500g mixed dried fruit, I used sultanas, raisins, candied peel

125g chopped dates
25g glace cherries, chopped
4 fruit tea bags, I used mandarin and ginger
500ml boiling water
125g margarine
80g unrefined sugar
1½ tblsp molasses (45ml)
250g barley flour (or any other you choose)
125ml fruit soaking liquid
3 tblsp mixed spice

Put the dried fruit, except the cherries, into a container with the tea bags, pour over the boiling water.  Stir and leave overnight to soak.  This will ensure your cake is moist as the fruit won't be leaching up the liquid in the cake mix.
Drain off the liquid and put to one side, above you can see the plumped up fruit - compare that to what your looks like in the packet, and you'll see why it's worthwhile soaking the fruit!
Beat the margarine and sugar together, then add the molasses, soaking liquid and spice.  Sieve the flour on top.

 Stir the flour in carefully until it's well blended.

 Add the soaked fruit and the chopped glace cherries, they are usually so moist that they don't need soaking.
 Mix the fruit in so that it's evenly distributed.
 Spoon into the lined tin and level off.  This cake has no raising agents, you will have noticed, so it's not going to rise.  Bake for about 3 hours at 145C in a fan oven, about 150C, 300F or gas mark 2 if you don't have a fan oven.  Test with a skewer, and if it comes out clean, it's done, if some mixture is sticking to the skewer, give it another fifteen minutes then try again.  At this temperature it's unlikely to burn, so don't worry!
 It should look something like this when it's baked:-)  I didn't cover my cake, although many people do - I don't find it's necessary.
It's simple to make, tastes great, so what are you waiting for?


  1. Looks tasty. I just couldn't resist eating it, thats why I only ever make cakes when I want to eat one!!!! When I made chocolate gateau last christmas, I needed 3 chocolate sponges and I trimmed them all flat and ate those bits and then decorated it to eat the next day when guests came. If I hadn't had those trimmed bits, I would of found it hard to resist.

  2. I'm pretty good when it comes to not devouring cakes, in fact they have been known to go mouldy because I forget about them!! I usually cut mine into slices nowadays and freeze them, that way there's a slice when I really fancy one with no danger of wasting any:-) The Christmas cake is absolutely safe, it wouldn't be the same without one, so no temptation there!


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