It is coming to that time of year again when we start to prepare for Christmas. I know a lot of people will say that it is very early to be starting of thinking of Christmas but we have a massive extended family that we have to buy and cater for, plus we will hopefully be having additional extended family visiting us for the big day.
So we start early, only identifying, gifts for individual family members, plus this year we are going to be spoiling our first grandson (I have suggested a drum kit but have been overruled – that will have to wait until he can properly smack hell out of them).
Also at this time of year we start to prepare our Christmas cake. This all started because a colleague at work brought in a Christmas cake his mother made – I have got to tell you that it is absolutely outstanding! So full of booze that you could not have a second slice and drive home! It has now become something that the entire office looks forward to, someone bringing in the Christmas cake.
I brought home two sliced for the family to share and it went down a storm, so my wife and I decided that we were going to make our own, we did and it proved a real winner when all the family visited over the Christmas holiday. That was three years ago, so now we make the cake in early October and feed it with booze every two weeks until we decorate the cake a couple of days before Christmas.
225 g light soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon black treacle
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
50g ground almonds
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 orange
100g almonds chopped
2 tablespoons of brandy (every two weeks)
Line and grease a 9-inch round cake tin
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and light
Beat in the treacle
Beat in the eggs (add a little bit of flour after the first egg to stop the mixture going “funny”)
Mix the rest of the dry ingredients with the flour (mix well)
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
Stir in the orange juice and the brandy then put into the tin and level the top
Bake in a cool oven (gas mark 1) for 3.5 hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Store until ready to feed in tin foil
To make the cake seriously moist prick the top and bottom and spoon feed 2 tablespoons of brandy over it every two weeks.