Annette's Boiled Christmas Cake

I make at least twenty boiled fruit cakes each festive season as gifts for friends and colleagues as well as for us to enjoy at home. Of course, you can make and eat them any time of year. My mother used a similar recipe, but the one that appears here is a modified version of boil-and-bake fruit cake recipe that appears in Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. If you like mixed fruit, dried peel or glace cherries, but all means add them as part of your fruit component.

Stage One - Add the ingredients below to a 3.5l saucepan

Dried fruit - (You can use any mix of dried fruit you like up to the 600gm)
300gm sultanas
100gm currants
100gm chopped dates
100gm cranberries
Butter and Sugar
150gm unsalted butter
180gm brown sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon All Spice (make sure it is not mixed spice)
1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda
100gm chopped naked ginger (or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger powder)
1 cup brandy (or 1/2 brandy and water; sherry and water ; or water)

Place the saucepan on the stove on a low heat until everything is melted and dissolved. It will start to boil and foam. Stir occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat and allow mix to cool.

Stage Two – Line a 21-22cm spring cake tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Check the mix is sufficiently cool, so the eggs will not cook – it is ok if it is still warm.

Stir in the following ingredients into the saucepan until well combined
2 large beaten eggs
150gm sifted plain flour
150gm sifted self raising flour
100gm roughly chopped walnuts (or substitute other nuts)

Place mix into the lined tin and cook at 180 degrees for 1hr and 15 minutes or until cooked.

If you like more alcohol, pour half cup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven (it will sizzle). Cover with a tea towel while it cools (keeps the steam in and the bugs out)

Sprinkle with icing sugar while slightly warm for a shiny glaze or decorate with soft icing once cool. Eat immediately or will store for months (if you can wait that long) in the refrigerator or anywhere cool. Store in a cake tin or wrap in foil.

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