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.
Yep I have to agree with you we cannot go without our Christmas Cake either lots of fruit and sherry yum I made mine yesterday I normally make it earier but seeing as how I was away I didn't get to do it early this year I still have to make the Christmas pudding yet as well and that is another that we cannot do without over Christmas pudding and custard yum
yes yes yes, Helen! Its 40 degrees outside but cannot do without steaming pudding and lashings of hot custard! I made mine on cream last year and oh my.....it was sinfully delicious!Delete
I've never made a Christmas pudding, but I'm always "gifted" with one from our local Pudding Kitchen, which is divine!Delete
The dessert of choice in my parts is trifle. I think the kids in the extended family would cry if I didn't bring along my trifle on Christmas Day. :-)
Yes I so look forward to my pudding and cstard on Christmas day and Michelle I love trifle too and have been known to make them often at Christmas as well if I get time I might make one this year as well oh the eating LOL
Helen, I think the food is one of my favourite things about Christmas. :-)Delete
Michelle, my mouth is watering, reading this. Like your dh, I couldn't do without my Christmas cake. I make mine to my mother's recipe and it's amazing. It's the taste of childhood Christmases - rich and fruity and lush. Thanks for sharing yours, I'd love to try it some time for a change.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on the release of SNOWBOUND SURPRISE FOR THE BILLIONAIRE. That's another Christmas treat. Such fun, not only for the romance, but for the taste of a European Christmas.
Annie, I'm so pleased you enjoyed SNOWBOUND SURPRISE. With all of our heat and humidity lately I've been trying to channel a European winter.Delete
Ooh, I love the sound of your fruitcake too! Perhaps you should share it some time. :-)
I LOVE christmas cake, Michelle, and Xmas Day is just not complete without the plum pudding!! Sadly I try to limit myself to eating it just on Xmas day otherwise I'd eat the whole cake in about a week and my butt would wear the evidence for the next year :-)
Oh, I'm afraid I don't have your willpower, Amy! I eat it for as long as we still have it. I mean...it's a holiday kind of thing (or, at least, that's what I tell myself). ;-)Delete
I LOVE christmas cake and christmas pud, but sadly am the only person in my house who does. I always buy myself a tiny pudding for xmas day (with brandy cream) and try to convince a generous friend of mine to donate a piece of cake...shame you don't live closer!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you buy yourself a tiny Christmas pud, Louisa! You absolutely deserve it. And, yes, if you lived closer I would definitely donate a slice or two of Christmas cake to your cause. :-)Delete
Michelle, fruit cake is a bit of a running joke in our household - my dh LOVES it and I've never met a fruitcake I wanted to eat! Unless a sponge with strawberries and passionfruit pulp on top counts! ;) BUT having said that - I do have a fruitcake recipe that I make as a treat for my dh and I'm told it's very nice... I'm just going to have to take that on trust! LOLReplyDelete
My favourite Christmas food would have to be shortbread! the seriously buttery variety.
I think it's seriously sweet of you to make fruitcake for your DH when you're not a fan.Delete
OMG, shortbread! I haven't learned to make it...I think I best stay away from that for the sake of my arteries. Mind you, if you ever felt like sharing the recipe... ;-)