If there was only one food I could make, bake or create for Christmas, without a doubt my DH would beg me (beg me I tell you!) to make my fruitcake.
I swear he could live on the stuff (if I'd let him ;-) ).
So in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share my fruitcake recipe with you. This was given to me by a work colleague a million years ago. :-)
First of all what you need to do is take 1kg and 1 cup of mixed dried fruit, add 1 cup of chopped pecans and pour over 3/4 cup of brandy and let soak overnight. Mmmm...this smells divine tomorrow. Promise.
The next day do the boring annoying thing first which is line a big, deep 20cm cake pan with multiple layers of baking paper (3 layers minimum and you want it to hang over the edges). And don't forget to set the oven to a nice and slow 150-160'C.
Now to the fun part of beating and mixing. Beat 250g of softened butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence and 1 2/3 cups of (firmly packed) dark brown sugar until combined. Add 5 eggs--one at a time and beating only until combined between each addition. Stir in 2 teaspoons of grated orange rind, 1/4 cup of orange juice and 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam.
In a separate bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups of plain flour and a teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger (I'm pretty generous with the cinnamon). Stir this into the above mixture in 2 batches. Next, add the soaked fruit and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and bake in a slow oven for 3 hours (or cooked when tested with a skewer). Brush the top of the cake evenly with another 1/4 cup of brandy. Cover with foil and leave to cool in the pan overnight.
This makes a BIG cake (which makes my DH's heart sing). The next day I cut it into 4 equal sized slabs, wrap each in foil and store in the pantry in airtight containers. I like to store it for a month before eating it. Honestly, it is the most divine cake on the planet (if my DH is to be believed). :-)
What about you? What's the one Christmas food you couldn't live without?
Michelle's Christmas book SNOWBOUND SURPRISE FOR THE BILLIONAIRE is on shelves now.