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Christmas Cake #2

ingredients

serves: 25
800 g mixed fruit
50 g glace ginger
75 g pack dried cranberries
75 g pack dried blueberries
5 tbsp brandy
juice of 1 orange
1 cup (250 g) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (250 g) 8 oz unrefined light muscovado sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tbsp black treacle (molasses)
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
50 g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
250 g self raising (self rising) flour
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp Mixed Spice (All Spice / Pumpkin pie spice).

method

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, 300°F, gas mark 2.

2. Grease and line a 20 cm deep sided, loose bottomed cake tin, with greaseproof paper.

3. Place the mixed fruit, ginger, cranberries and blueberries in a large bowl and stir in the brandy and orange juice, leave to stand.

4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the beaten eggs, black treacle, orange and lemon zest and pecan nuts then stir to combine.

5. Sieve the flour with the nutmeg and mixed spices then stir into the dried fruit mixture.

6. Fold the dried fruit and flour mixture into the creamed mixture a little at a time until well blended.

7. If the mixture is very stiff, add 2 x 15 ml spoons lemon juice (from the lemon that was zested.)

8. Spoon the mixture carefully into the prepared cake tin, smooth over the surface with the back of a wet spoon and make a slight indentation the size of a 50p in the centre of the cake.

9. Bake in the oven for approximatly 41/2 - 43/4 hours, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

10. Check after 4 hours and if necessary cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper.

11. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave in the cake tin until cool. Turn out on to a cooling rack and remove the greaseproof paper carefully.

12. When cold, wrap in clean greaseproof paper and then in foil and store in a cool dark place until ready to marzipan and decorate.

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