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3 Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas Fruitcake

Prep: 20 mins.                                                                                                   Cook: 45 mins.                                                                                                  Ready In: 11 d

    Ingredients 

  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried mango
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, divided

  Directions

  • Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and citron in 1/4 cup rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 6×3-inch round pan or loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with molasses and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
  • Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.

Make & mature Christmas cake

   Ingredients

  • 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 150ml brandy, Sherry, whisky or rum, plus extra for feeding
  • 250g pack butter, softened
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almond
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almond
  • 4 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  Method

  • Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
  • Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
  • Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  • To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

Traditional fruitcake

     Ingredients

  • 500g sultanas
  • 3 x 100g pkts mixed glace cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 x 300g pkt currants
  • 250ml (1 cup) brandy
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 155g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 115g (1/3 cup) breakfast marmalade
  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • Blanched almonds, to decorate
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) brandy, extra

      Method

  • Combine the sultanas, raisins, cherries, currants and brandy in a large or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, stirring occasionally, for 6 hours to macerate.
  • Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and sides with 2 layers of non-stick baking paper to reach 6cm above the edge of the pan.
  • Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined (the mixture may curdle at this stage – this is due to the high proportion of eggs to butter and doesn’t affect the result). Add the marmalade and beat until well combined. Add the combined flour and mixed spice, and fold until just combined. Stir in the sultana mixture. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Tap the pan on the benchtop to settle the mixture.
  • Wrap the outside of the pan with 3 layers of newspaper, rising slightly higher than the baking paper. Secure with kitchen string. Bake, covering with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning, for 3 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Pour the extra brandy over the hot cake. Wrap the pan in a clean tea towel and set aside overnight to cool completely

 

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