Making the christmas cake

When the girls were little I used to make the Christmas cake on the long weekend in October. I'm a bit behind this year but realised that i need to get a move on as I am donating one for a raffle on the 4th December. I have been making the same recipe for many years now. I have an Old Margaret Fulton entertaining recipe book which is the first recipe book I ever owned. Mum gave it to me for Christmas when i was twenty, so it is getting on! I still use it and I think this is a great Christmas cake recipe. Often when people say they don't like fruitcake it is because they have never had a real one cooked with plenty of care and lots of fruit. I put the fruit in to soak yesterday and will soak as long as possible.

It is interesting to note that it gets harder and harder to buy Glace Fruits each year. I knew there would be none here so asked Zoe to get them at David Jones food hall but even there they didn't have the full range. I don't think the cake works nearly as well without them, although I think when I made one for a birthday party in April I substituted Apricot Jam and it turned out all right.
Here is my recipe, have a try it is worth it. I am making three this year, one for the raffle, one for Peter's mother and one for us.   
My Christmas cake (a variation of a Margaret Fulton Recipe)
2 cups each of raisins and sultanas
1 1/3rd cup currants
2/3rd cup each mixed peel and glace cherries
1/3rd cup each   glace apricots and pineapple (available at good deli’s or sometimes in the supermarket around Christmas time)
3 tablespoon each brandy and dark rum
250 g unsalted butter
1 1/3rd cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon marmalade
2 tablespoon golden syrup
5 eggs
2 ½ cup plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg
1/3rd cup blanched almonds
Extra brandy and extra blanched almonds
Put all the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle with brandy and rum, leave as long as you can but at least overnight!
Grease and line an eight inch square cake tin with three layers of baking paper
Warm oven to about 120 centigrade  if it is fan forced 140 if not
Cream butter until light and fluffy
Add brown sugar and beat some more
Add golden syrup and beat
Sift flour together with the spices
Add eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour in between each egg (this stops it splitting)
Stir, with a wooden spoon and add the fruit alternately with the flour until well mixed
Stir in the marmalade
Spoon into the prepared tin
Level,decorate with the almonds if you want
Drop the tin on the bench gently to make sure all the air bubbles are out
Place in the oven and cook for four hours
Check to make sure it isn’t burning
When its cooked
Take from the oven
Turn out onto a large cloth ( I use a cotton table cloth)
Remove the tin and the paper, pour a tablespoon of brandy over the bottom of the cake then replace the paper and the tin, wrap all in the cloth and leave to cool
Next day, remove paper and tin and wrap with foil until you are going to eat it.
Enjoy!!



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