Ok so I know it’s only the 4 of December but I’m going to just jump onto the Christmas bandwagon here for a second. It’s ok I’ll get off again at the next stop but for now, I’m going with the festive spirit. This weeks mega-bake-amon has to be done early you see for it is the holy Christmas cake* that I have decided to make today (I should have probably done it even earlier but alas no time). I’d also like to point out that this Christmas cake is Dairy Free**, for all of you who are lactose intolerant or fancy having a go at something slightly different. It still has eggs in mind you (unfortunate for some) but that can’t be helped.
So to begin you will need the following:
- 4oz Soya Spread (I use a product called Pure though you can use whatever you like/butter if it suits)
- 2oz Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons of Soya Milk (again or cows milk, oat milk etc)
- 2oz Plain Flour
- 4oz Self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
- 4oz Currants
- 4oz Sultanas
- 4oz Raisins
- 2oz Cherries
- 2oz Ground Almonds
- 1 Tablespoon of Golden Syrup
Before you start actually making the cake make sure you’ve got a large cake tin all ready. I usually prepare the tin by greasing it with soya spread first and then patting a little bit of flour around the tin to lightly cover it as it helps to stop it from sticking.
Now that you’ve got everything ready you can begin. Start by pouring all of the fruit into a separate bowl ready for later. Then with your main bowl mix in the sugar and the butter together till the mixture is smooth. Then add the eggs, golden syrup and ground almonds to the mix and beat together again. Once you’ve mixed it all up you can add both of the flours and the mixed spice (starting to smell good now :D). Then finally add all of the fruit together and mix again and then add the milk to make the mixture a bit smoother. Now you should have something that looks a little like this:
Once you’ve got the mixture you can pour it into the cake tin that you prepped earlier and maybe sneak a tiny taste of the gorgeous mixture 😉
Then put it in the oven on Gas Mark 4 or 180 degrees C for roughly an hour (always check on it before this as every oven is different). You want the cake to cook slowly so if you have a fan oven you might want the temperature a bit lower than this and if you have a gas oven I suggest you don’t put it on the top shelf or it will likely burn. My cake for instance was perfect after 50 minutes on 170 degrees c in a fan oven (so it’s a good job I checked!). Don’t forget to check the cake is cooked through with a skewer before you decide that it’s completely done 😛
Now I never claim to be an authority on baking. In actually fact about 30% of the time whatever I’m baking goes a bit wrong. But you learn from your mistakes and I simply love to bake. In the case of the Christmas cake it looks amazing, smells amazing and I’m quite proud of it…only one teeny tiny issue for next time – use a smaller tin. It rose, obviously but the tin was just a little bit too big I feel because now I have a giant flat Christmas cake 😛
Ah well, as long as it taste good at the end I never care that much 🙂 Onto the next step – I’m letting my cake cool before I begin adding the alcohol 😉 In my case, this year I’ve chosen Cherry Brandy. It’s one of my favourite drinks and I think it will probably go quite well considering – can’t wait to find out. After that comes a wee waiting period while the alcohol settles in and then we have the marzipan and icing stages. Now I’ve already detailed my Marzipan Recipe in the previous Mega-Bake-Amon post so check back there if you need any help. As for the icing stage – that is the trickiest but also the most fun and i can’t wait to show you what I end up with 🙂
But for now,
*When I say Christmas cake – this is just my version of it. I don’t put any orange or lemon peel in as I’m not keen on them and there are various other things that people put in but I like my version which is the basic fruitcake recipe that my mummy taught me 🙂
**I’m not actually lactose intolerant myself although my nephew is, but as a family we converted to soya products about 8 years ago now for personal reasons – mainly after my mum had breast cancer (she’s got through it thankfully) but that’s a whole other story for another day.