Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cake

I wasn't going to make Christmas Cake this year, but Michelle asked to nicely – again and again – that I relented. I bought the fruit last week and soaked it in brandy. On Saturday when Sean came we went to the 18h30 Mass, which was beautiful and holy.

When we got back, I gave him the butter and sugar to cream, while I cooked our dinner. Then he added the fruit and flour (all having been measured out by me earlier). We got the cake into the oven at 20h15. While we were waiting for it to be cooked, we went to the lounge to watch Dr Zhivago, which was a sad movie. It had Keira Knightly in it, and I could swear I've seen another version. A harsher version. This one was more romantic than the one I remember. That is to say, if what I am remembering really was Dr Zhivago. It could have been another Russian tale, and it is my experience that most Russian tales are sad and/or harsh.

Here is Sean busy with the creaming of the butter:


Mmm. The mixture tastes good!


The cake is in the tin under his elbow


The cake came out of the oven at 00h15, and was given a tot of brandy straight away. When it was cool, it was wrapped in foil, and will be fed regular tots of brandy until it is time to eat it on Christmas Day. Its really tempting me though, every time I see it. I'll have to put it away somewhere. I never ice my Christmas Cake as the whole family hates the icing. Richard on the other hand, says he loves the icing and could eat a whole packet of marzipan in one sitting.

This is the recipe, if anyone is interested:


3 cups plain flour

375g butter (3/4lb)

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar

6 eggs

1 and 1/2 cup raisins

1 and 1/2 cup sultanas

1 cup mixed peel

box glace cherries

60g almonds (2oz)

2 teaspoons mixed spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch salt

Half cup of Brandy (or Rum or Kirsch)



Soak fruit in brandy for a couple of days



Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time beating well after each one.

Add the soaked fruit.

Sift in flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

Bake in a 9" square tin for 4 hrs in a slow oven.

Splash with more brandy when out of the oven.

When cool, wrap in aluminium foil and give a good sprinkle of brandy every week until you decide to eat it.

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