Christmas cake also known as Fruit Cake is one of the quintessential Christmas deserts. The English cake is full of fruits and laced with alcohol (usually brandy/rum) and sometime covered with marzipan and royal icing.
This cake is dark, rich, moist and the additional chocolate adds a little twist to the traditional fruitcake. While baking, the aromas filled the house with smells of Christmas. It evokes the festive spirit like nothing else. Mmmm...
Makes: 20cm round tin (cut to 10 slices) / 18cm square tin / 2x loft tin
• 200g unsalted butter
• 200g dark brown soft sugar
• 100g dark chocolate (i use 70%), broken into chunks if they are in block
• 75ml brandy (i use 100ml rum)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 250g raisins
• 250g currants
• 100g dried cranberries
• 100g dried sour cherries
• 100g mixed peel
• 200g self-raising flour
• 100g ground almonds
• 3 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1.5 tsp mixed spice
• 3 eggs, beaten with a fork
1. Gently heat the butter, sugar, chocolate, brandy/rum, vanilla and fried fruits in a large pan, stirring occasionally until everything has melted together. Remove from heat, set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 150C.
3. Line a deep cake tin, with a double layer of baking parchment. Wrap a few layers of newspaper around the outside of the tin and secure with string.
(insulating and padding the tin helps prevent the outside of the cake from scorching before the inside is properly cooked)
4. Mix the flour, almonds, cocoa and spice. Stir the eggs into the chocolate fruit mixture, followed by the flour mixture.
5. Pour the mixture into the baking tin, bake for 1hr 30mins to 1hr 45mins or until a skewer poked in comes out clean (cover the top with foil half way thru the time and remove it during the last 10mins to avoid the top being over baked). Cool in the tin. Greaseproof-wrapped cake will keep for 2 months in an airtight container. (1hr 20mins for loft tin).
Recipe inspired by: BBC GoodFood with some adjustment.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 1 hour, and completely cool on a wire tray before cutting.
If you are not a chocolate lover, skip the chocolate and cocoa powder. I don't fancy Christmas cake on the retail shelf as they are usually overwhelm with sugar. Now, I am glad that I can make my own Christmas cake and they taste better!