Ok, I know, I know, I know. The word Christmas should not be spoken this side of the 1st December, but do you know what? I love Christmas and I have been thinking about it since July, so there. Plus this is the perfect time of year to start turning your attention to your Christmas cake, something you can make now and pretty much forget about until the big day. (Yes, I called it the big day. No, I'm not even remotely sorry).
I will be totally honest with you from the start: I don't like Christmas cake. Not even a little bit. I don't like dried fruit, I hate cinnamon, and mixed spice smells like the devil. So, there it is. I said.
It's one of those love/hate cakes that divides families into the "Oh, go on I'll have a slice"-ers and the "Did you defrost the Gatuex?"-ers. But I know a lot of people that do like Christmas cake and I know there's only one thing that everybody agrees with about Christmas cake.....it is always too heavy but it can never be too boozy!
That's were this recipe comes in. A lighter cake with slightly less of the fruit and nuts and a whole load of happy juice!
150g Glace Cherries, chopped in half
50g Lemon Peel
50g Orange Peel
Whiskey, Port, or Sherry (the choice is yours)
125g Muscavado sugar
130g Plain flour
Half a teaspoon of Baking Powder
1tsp Mixed PSice
50g Ground Almonds
Put your dried fruit and peels in you alcohol of choice to soak. It's best if you do this over night but a few hours will do well enough!
Once you have drunk fruit and peel, pre heat your oven to 140C.
Cream together your butter and sugar, then add your eggs making sure you give them a good mix.
Add in your flour, baking powder, spice, ground almond and a bit of salt into your butter mixture and combine.
Throw in the drunk fruit and peel, along with the alcohol. Mix like your life depends on it. Once combined put your mixture into your tin, I used a loaf tin, create a little dip in the centre to avoid too much doming and pop it in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins. You'll need to cover it with foil about an hour into the bake.
By now, your house should smell like Christmas and you should be prancing around surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights feeling very smug with yourself for being so efficient!
Drunken prancing complete take your cake out of the oven and poke a few holes in it. Carefully
Once cool wrap it tightly with copious amounts of greaseproof paper and clingfilm, then keep it in an airtight container. You can feed it as often as you deem appropriate....perhaps not every day.......maybe every other week.
A day or two before the big day give your cake a quick check, if you fancy it give it a decorate too!