Baking Queen Catherine Leyden stops by to whip up a delicious Christmas cake!
225g/8oz Odlums Cream Plain Flour (sieved)
175g/6oz Butter or Margarine
225g/8oz Shamrock Dark Muscovado Sugar
350g packet Shamrock Sultanas
350g packet Shamrock Fruit Mix
100g tub Shamrock Cherries
100g packet Shamrock Chopped Almonds
100g packet Shamrock Ground Almonds
3 large Eggs
Rind and Juice of 1 Orange
1 teaspoon Goodall's Mixed Spice
2 baby bottles of Brandy
Put butter/margarine, sugar, fruit, rind, juice and one baby bottle of the brandy into a large saucepan.
Slowly bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, until the butter/margarine has melted.
Turn off heat and leave to cool for approx 30 minutes.
Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas 1 and line an 8"/20cm round deep cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Stir the eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the fruit mixture and mix well.
Finally, stir in the sieved flour and mixed spice.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth it out evenly - the back of a metal spoon dipped in water is handy for this!
Bake for 2½-3 hours approx. After 2 hours, cover with paper if cake is browning too quickly. To check the cake is done, insert a skewer into the centre - if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
Make holes in top of warm cake and pour over remaining brandy.
Leave cake in tin to cool completely.
When cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and then tinfoil. Store in a cool dry place.
This mixture can be divided between two 900g/2lb lined loaf tins or two 15cms/6" round cake tins or a combination of both and will bake in about 1½ hours at the same temperature. This is ideal for those who just want a small cake and the second cake would make a very acceptable Christmas present!