Christmas is an exciting time in our household. We are a family that loves panettone, fruit mince pies, biscotti, pudding, panforte, and many other yummy desserts. I realize that these sweets are not everyone’s favourite but to us we wish we had them all year round. This traditional Christmas cake is adapted from Nigella’s recipe. It is rich, heavy and loaded with dried fruit and nuts. Just a small slice after dinner is a nice way to finish a meal.
- This cake needs to be prepared the day before
- Cooking time is approximately 3 hours
- Leaving the cake in an airtight container for approximately 3 weeks will allow it to absorb all the flavours.
- 375g raisins
- 375 sultanas
- 100g glace cherries
- 100g mixed peel
- 250g mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts etc), roughly chopped
- 500ml bourbon
- 300g unsalted butter
- 180g dark brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 300g plain flour
- 200g ground almonds
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- Approximately 55 almonds.
- Place all the dried fruit in a large bowl. Pour over the bourbon and cover with cling wrap. Allow ingredients to steep overnight.
- Preheat oven to 150°C and double line the base of a 20/23 cm round tin with baking paper (two sheets of baking paper lined at the bottom). Cut out two very long rectangles of paper and over lap them to fit along the sides of the tin and rise above the cake like a top hat.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the molasses and almond extract.
- In another large bowl sift the dry ingredients together and mix thoroughly using a spoon.
- Fold the soaked fruit alternately with the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until well combined.
- Mix in the chopped nuts.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin. Place almonds around the edge of the cake and in the centre, forming an edge and a flower decoration.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 3 hours or until dark and golden. Test if cake is cooked by inserting a skewer until it comes out clean.
- Transfer cake on to a wire rack and allow cooling.
- Store in an airtight container or wrap up as a Christmas present!