Still time to bake your own Christmas Cake!

So, you have never got around to baking your own Christmas Cake it despite your best intentions or maybe you are worried that you have not left yourself enough time? Well, if you are quick you can have this year’s Cake ready and all made by your fair hands.

I love Christmas. Good will, good food and good times.

I love Christmas. Good will, good food and good times.

This is a very special recipe that has been handed down the Maguire family for generations. My

Auntie Maureen from Ballymahon, was kind enough to let me share this with you all and I hope your family enjoy it as much as we do every Christmas.

So get soaking that fruit!

Ingredients

• 225 g / 8 oz butter

• 350 g / 14 oz raisins

• 225 g / 8 oz soft brown sugar

• 350 g / 14oz sultanas

• 250 g / 10 oz plain flour

• 150 g / 6 oz currants

• 6 eggs

• 100 g / 4 oz cherries

Grated rind ½ lemon

• 100 g / 4 oz mixed peel, homemade or similar

• 50 g / 2 oz grated apple

• ½ tsp nutmeg, grated

• 50 g / 2 oz chopped almonds(optional)

• ¼ teaspoon mixed spice

• ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

• 5 fl oz whiskey or brandy

• 50 g / 2 oz apricots, ready to eat

• 100 g / 4 oz ground almonds

Method

Prepare 9” round cake tin by lining with 2 layers of greaseproof paper extending 5 cm / 2” over top of the tin. Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside of the tin.

Prepare fruit and mix it with spices, nuts, lemon rind and ½ of whiskey or brandy. Cover bowl with a tea-towel and leave overnight.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs and fold in the sieved flour until well mixed. Fold in prepared fruit and ground almonds. Mix well. Put mixture into prepared tin and smooth with back of spoon leaving slightly hollow in the centre.

Preheat oven 140°C / Gas 1 and bake the cake for 3-3½ hours, or until cooked. Protect top of cake from over browning by covering with brown paper for last 1½ hours. Oven temperature varies so check after 1½-2 hours.

Cool cake in tin standing on wire tray until next day. Turn it out and remove paper. Using a skewer make small holes and pour remainder of whiskey or brandy. Wrap cake in 2 sheets of greaseproof paper, then a layer of foil. Store in an airtight tin in a cool place until it is ready for icing.

TIP

I haven’t included icing in this recipe, because personally I like my cake plain. However there are so many different types of icing around fondant, royal etc. I’ll leave you to choose your own favourite.

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