Everyone has their own special recipe for Christmas Cake and secrets are passed on by mothers, grandmothers and shared with friends. Christmas cake brings back to me good childhood memories of a beautiful cake studded with pecans, angelica and glace cherries arriving all the way from America every year in a colorful cake tin. We would wait in excitement for the arrival of the cake by post and it was one of the highlights of our family Christmas. I make my copycat version every year. The Collins Street fruit cake is delicious and visually appealing, yet it is easy to decorate. It is best to use an Angel Cake Tin as it bakes more evenly but it turns out very well in a rectangular baking sheet tray. A bundt tin is too intricate to achieve good results. People like to explore the dried fruits in their slice of Christmas Cake but use ingredients that suit your own taste.
You will need:
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup soft brown sugar (optional)
1 cup rum
1 cup apple juice
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup pecans
1 cup cranberries
1 cup glace cherries
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried pineapple
1/2 cup crystallized ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
For the top of the cake: Lots of pecans, glace cherries cut into halves and warm honey or agave to brush the cake after baking.
‘Rinse the dried fruit and allow it to dry in a colander.Soak it in a spirit of your choice [brandy, rum or port] either for a couple of hours or overnight and I have also heard of people soaking fruit for a month and up to a year. The fruit absorbs the alcohol and top it up when it dries. ‘
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add all the dried ingredients, the dried fruit and pecans. Mix well.
Melt the butter. Add the soft brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the butter mix to the dried ingredients using a large metal spoon. Add the beaten eggs and mix until the mixture appears consistent. Pour the batter into a cake tin prepared with baking spray. Decorate the surface with pecans and colorful cherries.
Bake in a preheated oven, slowly and gently at 150C for an hour.
Brush with warm honey and allow to cool.
Before serving brush again with honey or agave.
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President Butter and Fry Light cooking sprays by Rimus Group
McDougalls Flour and Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd
Soft Brown Sugar Truvia by Stevia, Organic Agave, Maple Syrup Treat by Silver Spoon and Billingtons at Borg & Aquilina
Nuts, dried fruit and spices by Good Earth Distributors
Eggs by the Convenience Shop