More Making the Christmas Cake

Today you won’t need too many more ingredients, but you will want to have some parchment paper and some brown paper around. I just use a paper grocery bag. Because someone will ask, I haven’t left anything out of the ingredients of this cake. It’s a very old recipe. The only thing it uses for leavening is the eggs. So be gentle with it while it’s baking.

Christmas Cake Stage Two: Baking the Cake

Time:
4-6 hrs

Ingredients

  • 280g (10 oz) butter
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 255 g (9 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 85 g (3 oz) almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Prep the baking pan. (see how below)
  2. Now you may take out the top rack of your oven and preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Mix the softened butter together with the sugar until it turns that nice pale color.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time. To be sure your batter doesn’t curdle, add a tablespoon of the flour with each egg.
  5. Mix the rest of the flour and almond flour together with the salt.
  6. Fold the flour mixture into your creamed mixture.
  7. When the flour is fully incorporated you can fold in the soaked fruit. That’s a lot of folding. You will probably find yourself singing “around the outside through the middle” before you are done.
  8. When the fruit is fully incorporated, you can pour the mixture in your paper lined pan and smooth it out like in the picture below.
  9. Put this in the oven, close the oven door and do not open it for 3.5 hours.
  10. When your timer goes off you can test the cake and if the tester comes out dry, the cake is done. Take it out of the oven, but let it cool overnight before removing it from the pan.
I promise it’s so much better than boughten fruit cake.

To prep the pan: I use a 9 inch springform pan which is a lovely modern invention, but even though they are a little deeper, you still have to do the papering:

First you are going to butter the bottom of your pan and use that to tack down a circle of parchment paper.

Then you are going to cut a rectangle of brown paper and tie it around the outside of the pan, so that it sticks above the pan at least ten inches.

Now, you are going to cut a rectangle of parchment paper and line the sides of the pan. Some recipes will tell you to just let the inner parchment paper to go a little beyond the edge of the cake tin. I prefer to just make them the same height, so that I don’t acidentally dump cake between the two paper layers.

Basically what you are doing here is using the pan as the framework to make a larger paper pan. The pan should be completely covered by paper.

Making the Christmas Cake

So in the next couple of posts, I am going to take you through the process of making an Irish Christmas cake one day at a time. I don’t always make this. I am kind of going all out to make this year special and it is so much better homemade than any fruit cake you will buy from the store. I like to start mine on stir up day when I put together my mincemeat for the mince pies.

Christmas Cake: Soaking the Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) sultanas or golden raisins
  • 225 g (1/2 lb) raisins
  • 225 g (1/2 lb) currants
  • 100 g (4 oz) glacé cherries, halved or whole, not chopped
  • 50g (2 oz) mixed peel, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 apple peeled and shredded
  • 100 g (3 oz) sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cherry syrup from making the cherries or 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 4 tablespoons Irish Whiskey (give or take)

Directions

  1. Put the fruit, spices, and almonds in a bowl that has a tight fitting lid.
  2. Zest and juice the lemon and the orange. Chop the zest finely adding the zest and the juice to the mixture in the bowl.
  3. Add the syrup and the whiskey and stir until it is mixed together well.
  4. Put the lid on the pan and let it sit overnight.