Brandied Christmas Fruit Cake
Make this fruit cake three months in advance, store it in several layers of baking parchment in an airtight tin and gradually soak it with brandy over a series of weeks to ensure it has a rich flavor.
From: DK Books - Greener
If you don't like the taste of brandy, make the cake at least one week before you want to eat it. For a simple but elegant confectioners' sugar pattern on the cake, use a paper doily as a stencil.
Preheat the oven to 275° F
1-1/4 cups currants
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup (about 20) glace (or candied) cherries, rinsed, dried and quartered
packed 1/4 cup (about 14) dried apricots, cut into pieces
1/4 cup mixed candied citrus, finely chopped
4 fl. oz. brandy
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup dark muscovado sugar
1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
1 Tbsp. molasses
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
4 extra large eggs
brandy for soaking
1. Place fruits in a bowl, add brandy and leave overnight. Grease and line an 8-inch-deep round cake pan, ensuring that the paper around the side is higher than the height of the pan.
2. Measure the flour, spices, butter, sugar, almonds, molasses and the lemon and orange zests and juice into a large bowl and add the brandy-soaked fruits.
3. Add the eggs to the ingredients and mix everything together thoroughly. Then spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan.
4. Spread the mix out evenly with a palette knife and cover with a double layer of wax paper. Bake in the oven for about 4-1/2 hours until firm. Allow cake to cool in the pan.