Have a go at baking a homemade Christmas cake this year – this recipe is for a practised and perfected traditional classic fruit cake, made with soaked unsweetened dried fruit. My favourite Christmas cake recipe. It’s totally worth it!
The recipe uses a wide variety of tart and sweet dried fruit. Soak 4 cups of chopped dried fruit (plums, apricots, cranberries, black currants, glacé cherries, candied ginger, golden sultanas, figs, prunes, dark raisins, and candied gooseberry) and 2 tbs candied lemon/orange peel in 500 ml rum or brandy for 10 days
(You may soak the fruit in red grape juice or orange juice. The liquid you use to soak the fruit makes a lot of difference to this cake. I used non-alcoholic homemade black gooseberry wine, which was almost 2 years old and it tasted fruity, woody and tangy – just divine when it blended with the spice powder. If you are in a hurry, soak the fruit at least for a day)
Melt 1/2 kg butter and add 1/2kg white sugar and 250 gm jaggery. Stir well. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp powdered spices (I used allspice, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg) Stir well.
Wait for the mixture to cool before you add 10 eggs (or the eggs will cook) Beat the mixture well. Add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 kg flour. Add the soaked fruit with the liquid. Whip the whole mixture well.
Line a couple of trays with baking paper and pour the batter into them.
Bake at 150 degrees. This cake is very rich and takes longer to bake – sometimes 2 hours.
Ice it with white frosting or serve it plain. Delicious, either way!
Once done, cover it with cling film and refrigerate. It stays fresh for six months or even up to a year, if refrigerated.
By Linda Joseph Kavalackal,
Christ & Co.