If you were listening to last Sunday‘s show, you’ll have heard Lyndsay Sadler sharing her recipe for a traditional English fruitcake with June and Rosalyn.
Did what she said inspire you to get into the kitchen and make your own Christmas cake this year? If it did, there’s still time – and here’s the full recipe to help you do so.
It’s a great family activity so remember to get the kids involved too and don’t forget that all-important step as you’re stirring the mixture before putting it in the tin…
Close your eyes and make a wish!
Coco's Kitchen's Traditional English Fruitcake
- 570g mixed dried fruit
- 75g glacé cherries, halved
- 100ml brandy or sherry*
- 200g butter or margarine
- 200g soft dark brown sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 200g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2tsp grated nutmeg
- Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 50g ground almonds*
*Replace the brandy or sherry with cold tea or orange juice for an alcohol-free version – for a nut-free version, replace the ground almonds with a further 50g of flour
- The day before you want to make your cake, put all the dried fruit in a bowl, add the brandy or sherry, cover and leave overnight.
- Line the inside of a 20cm tin with baking paper and use brown paper or newspaper to wrap around the outside, securing this with string, to protect the edges from the heat of the oven during the two-hour cooking time.
- Preheat the oven to 130 degrees.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until they look creamy and the butter is slightly lighter in colour. Add the eggs one at a time.
- Sift the flour and spices into a separate bowl then tip and slowly fold it into the butter mixture using a metal spoon.
- Add the orange and lemon zest and the almonds to the soaked fruits then tip it all into the cake mixture and slowly stir in. Remember to make that wish as you stir!
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth the surface. Put some baking paper on the top of the mixture so that it doesn’t brown too much in the oven. Place the cake in the centre of the preheated oven and bake. Remove the paper from the top about 15 minutes before it’s due to be done.
- Lightly prod the top of the cake – if it feels very soft and you can still hear a lot of bubbling, it’s not quite cooked. If it looks done and feels firm to the touch and is silent, insert a skewer or sharp knife. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If it doesn’t, give it another 15 minutes in the oven and then test it again.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and then you can start feeding it! Prick the surface with a skewer and add a bit more brandy or sherry to it – do this a couple of times a week until you’re ready to add the finishing touches, topping it with marzipan, icing and your choice of Christmas-y decorations.