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    Traditional Christmas cake recipe

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    Traditional Christmas cake recipe

    Illustration shown with icing

    • Christmas

    Ingredients

    • Orange zest
    • Lemon zest
    • 25g Waitrose Pecan Nuts, chopped
    • 25g Waitrose Whole Almonds, chopped
    • ½tsp mixed spice
    • ¼tsp ground nutmeg
    • 175g Waitrose Superfine Plain Flour, sifted
    • 200g Waitrose Greek Currants
    • 100g Waitrose Australian Sultanas
    • 100g Waitrose Cape Raisins
    • 85g Waitrose Glacé Provençal Cherries, quartered
    • 40g Waitrose Italian Cut Mixed Peel
    • 75g Waitrose Ready-to-Eat Dried Apricots, roughly chopped
    • 50g Haven Glacé Pineapple Wedges, roughly chopped
    • 2tbsp Waitrose 3 Year Old Brandy
    • 175g unsalted butter
    • 175g Billington's Natural Molasses Sugar
    • 1tbsp black treacle
    • 3 large eggs, beaten

    Method

    1. Place the fruit in a large bowl, pour in the brandy, stir, cover and leave overnight.
    2. Prepare an 18cm round cake tin by greasing the base and sides and lining with a double thickness of baking parchment.
    3. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (use an electric whisk if you have one), add the treacle and mix well.
    4. Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition to prevent curdling. If the mixture does curdle add 1tbsp flour, beat until smooth, then continue to add the eggs.
    5. Gently fold in the flour and spices with a metal spoon. Fold in the nuts, lemon and orange zest and the soaked fruit mixture until well mixed.
    6. Carefully spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin, levelling the surface with the back of a spoon. Place a circular 'tent' of parchment paper, with a small hole in the middle, over the mixture. For extra protection, tie a double thickness band of brown paper around the outside of the tin to prevent the cake from cooking too quickly around the edges.
    7. Stand the cake tin on a couple of sheets of brown paper on a baking tray and place in a preheated oven 140ºC, gas mark 1 for about 3-3½ hours, or until a sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
    8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin. When cold, remove from the tin and wrap in greaseproof paper or foil and store in an airtight tin. For a really moist cake, prick the cake with a fine skewer all over and feed with 1tbsp brandy every 2-3 weeks until ready to decorate. The cake will mature with keeping.

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    Cook's tips

    You'll need to plan ahead when making this cake as the dried fruits are soaked in brandy overnight and cooking time is 3½ hours. When making the cake; the eggs, butter and black treacle should be at room temperature.

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