How to Make a Fruit Cake
I'm not sure if it's where I'm so busy or where I am getting older that time seems to be just flying by! I just don't believe that it is that time of year again!
Christmas is a very special and busy time for everyone but especially for those of us who take on the main role of cook in the house, all of a sudden I find myself thinking about making the Christmas Cake once again!
The original fruit cake was a firm favorite on Victorian tea-tables, and none more so than the Cherry and Almond Cake, now I refer to this because if you or your loved ones do not like Christmas Cake with fruit as they find it too rich then the alternative could be Cherry and Almond Cake. Glace cherries combined with almonds go to make a particularly pleasing cake.
Now whether you choose with or without fruit the cake will keep in an airtight tin for some four to six weeks, and that is the same if you omit the fruit.
The recipe that I go by for my Christmas Cake has been passed down my family for generations and I have no problem sharing it with everyone, not like some cook's who would rather keep it to themselves.
My way of thinking is that I know my Christmas Cake is extremely delicious and generally gets eaten before Christmas even arrives and that I have to make two ensuring that it is available for Christmas night and Boxing Day with a nice cup of English tea in front of the telly!
This recipe isn't difficult, it just takes a little time to prepare.
Put the festive music on and your ready to go!
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When your ready let's get started...
This may help, but for an easier cake use my ingredients
Ingredients - You can add whatever other ingredients of fruit in 125g quantities as you wish, such as coconut, peel etc
- 125g Margarine
- 125g Butter
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon Almond Essence
- 125g Glace Cherries, Chopped
- 225g Plain Flour, Sieved
- 125g Ground Almonds
- 1 level teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 125g Mixed fruit
- 3 tablespoons Brandy, optional
Instructions - Preparation time approximately 25 minutes
- Cream together the margarine, butter and caster sugar until fluffy.
- Beat the eggs and almond essence together and gradually beat into the creamed mixture.
- Cut Cherries into four and stir into the mixture.
- In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, add the ground almonds, baking powder and salt and then fold into the creamed mixture.
- Add the mixed fruit, and if you wish two tablespoons of brandy to the creamed mixture
How to ice your cake
To make life easier I have downloaded instructions for you as icing the cake can be quite tricky.
As well as giving an attractive finish, many icings are of practical use. On cakes they help to prevent drying out and you can tint them delicately with food coloring if you so wish and flavour them to taste with, for example, vanilla, coffee, chocolate or orange. Orange is a good flavoring for Christmas Cake icing.
Points to look out for when icing
Make sure your cake is completely cold or the icing will melt and run off and if there are any loose crumbs on your cake brush them off before you begin. Make sure your cake is on a flat surface and if your cake is large trim the top to level it or turn the cake upside-down and ice the base.
If your going to coat your cake with soft icing, stand the cake on a wire rack with a large plate beneath the rack. Pour the icing over the cake and let it find its own level. As it trickles down the sides, spread it with a palette knife to cover the sides completely.
This should help you to ice your cake
Job well done. Now onto decorating your cake, there are so many different ideas for this and I would suggest if you have children you get them involved as they have wonderful ideas at Christmas time.
The main thing is that you cannot fail with a Christmas Cake, the ingredients can be more or less depending on what you prefer. Some people don't like to much fruit so you can omit the fruit and just have cherry and almond cake if you so wish.
© 2014 Trudy Cooper