Traditional Christmas Cake
This rich cake can be made at the last minute before Christmas — it doesn't need to mature, although it keeps well too.
Number of servings : 30
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 4 hours + 2 to 3 hours chilling
Type of meal : | Cakes | Cakes
Special diet :
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces total) butter at room temperature
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 cups each currants, golden raisins, and dark raisins
1-1/3 cups soft dried figs, chopped
1-1/4 cups dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup chopped, stoned dried prunes
1-3/4 cups chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
2/3 cup plus 4 tablespoons brandy
2 teaspoons instant espresso, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease a round 9- or 10-inch cake pan, and line bottom and sides with several layers of waxed paper.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until thick and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, salt, and spices, then fold into the creamed mixture. Add the fruit, almonds, 2/3 cup brandy, and espresso, mixing well.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, leveling the surface. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 275°F and bake for 3-1/2 hours longer, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and top with a thick bath towel so that the cake will cool slowly.
- When the cake is cool, prick the top with a skewer and drizzle with the remaining brandy. Wrap in waxed paper and store in an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator or another cool place for up to 3 months.