Traditional christmas cake

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
1½ pounds Mixed dried fruit
4 ounces Candied peel; chopped
8 ounces Glace cherries
5 fluid ounce Sherry or orange juice
9 ounces Plain wholewheat flour and plain white; mixed
\N \N ; flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Mixed spice
¼ teaspoon Freshly grated nutmeg
9 ounces Butter or soft vegetarian margarine
9 ounces Soft brown sugar
4 \N Free-range eggs; lightly beaten
\N \N Grated rind of 1 orange
\N \N Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 ounces Ground almonds
2 ounces Flaked almonds
2 tablespoons Brandy

1. Put the dried fruit into a bowl with the candied peel. Rinse and halve the cherries and add to the bowl, along with the cherry or orange juice.

Mix, then cover and leave to marinate for 1-2 days, stirring occasionally.

2. Line a 20cm / 8in round cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper, and tie a double layer of newspaper around the outside of the tin.

Set the oven to 140øC/275øF/Gas Mark 1.

3. Sift together the flours, baking powder and spices. Cream the butter or margarine with the sugar then beat in the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the flour mixture, then stir in the fruit, orange and lemon rinds, and the ground and flaked almonds.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 4¼ hours, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Stand the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool.

5. Remove the cake from the tin and strip off the paper. Prick the cake all over with a skewer and pour over the brandy. Wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin until required. The cake will keep well for 1-3 months and mature during that time. Sprinkle with a little more brandy during storage.

6.Cover with almond paste and decorate with royal icing if liked.

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