Rich Fruit Christmas Cake With Figs and Honey: Bee Friendly
Bake Something Special For Christmas
This is a rich delicious moist and fruity Christmas cake, it is easy to make and be warned, it won't be around for long. Just produce your masterpiece and watch it disappear. This cake is scrumptious on it's own, but even nicer with a slice of Cheddar cheese. The cook time may vary depending on your specific oven, but the cooking time is usually between 3.5 to 4 hours. Where possible Fair Trade products were used in this recipe to support the small food producing businesses around the world.
- 750g Fairtrade dried fruits
- 100g blanched whole almond, roughly chopped
- 100g chopped peel
- 200g dried figs, roughly chopped
- 100g glace' cherries, well rinsed and quartered
- 300g plain flour
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp grated nutmeg
- 250g lightly salted butter
- 250g Fairtrade muscovado sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2tbsp honey
- 1tbsp black treacle
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 tsb bicarbonate of soda
- 1tsp milk
- 3tbsp brandy plus extra to feed
- 35g crystallized ginger
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 orange zest
- Heat oven to 140/120 fan/gas. Line the base and sides of a 20cm tin, first with a double layer of brown paper, then with a double layer of baking parchment. In a large bowl, mix the fruit, almonds, peel, figs and cherries. Turn well and add the flour, spices and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar thoroughly, then add the vanilla extract, honey and treacle. while still beating, incorporate the eggs, then stir in the fruit and flour mixture. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and stir in thoroughly. Add the brandy by the spoonful, until you have a soft dropping consistency.
- Turn the batter into the cake tin and make a dip in the middle using the back of a spoon. Bake for 3 hrs and 30 min. then insert a skewer, if the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready, if there is still some mixture on the skewer, give it 10 minutes more and retest. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and leave in the tin to cool. Next day, remove from tin, wrap in fresh grease-proof paper, and place in an airtight tin, or wrap tightly in foil. It is usual to keep the the cake for at least four weeks before icing it, and to unwrap and sprinkle intermittently with more brandy.
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