Christmas Cake Recipes Traditional Christmas Cake Suitable for cake tins: 9-10" round tin or 8" sqare tin. For 8" round tin use 3/4 of the mixture. Line tin with greaseproof paper, covering base and sides to 1" above rim. Ingredients 12ozs plain flour 6 free range eggs 8oz butter or margarine 8oz Traidcraft raw cane sugar 1 tablespoon black treacle 2lb of dried fruit- either Traidcraft mixed dried fruit, or a combination of currants, Traidcraft raisins and Traidcraft sultanas Up to 4oz candied peel, or substitute chopped Traidcraft apricots 2-4 ozs chopped nuts: Traidcraft walnuts or almonds. Up to 4oz ground almonds 1 teaspoon mixed spice 2-4ozs glace cherries Pinch salt 2-3 tablespoons of spirits: rum, brandy, sherry Method 1. Cream fat & sugar 2. Add treacle. 3. Sieve flour, spice and salt 4. Fold an egg and 2 tablespoons of flour into the creamed butter and sugar, repeating the process until all eggs and flour are incorporated. 5. Add dried fruit 6. Rinse cherries in warm water, cut into halves and add to mixture 7. Add chopped nuts 8. Add mixed peel or apricots if using 9. Add spirits 10. Mix thoroughly but gently 11. Put mixture into tin, leveling off the surface 12. Wrap 4 layers of brown paper or newspaper around tin 13. For Gas: Cook at Gas mark 3, for the first hour, mark 2 for next 2 hours, mark 1/2 for any remaining time 14. For Electric: Pre heat oven to 350 F or 180 C, cook for 1 hour, reduce heat to 300 F, 150 C or less for fan oven, cook for remaining 2 hours. For both methods, check after 2 hours if top of cake is dark and if so, cover with greaseproof paper to prevent the top burning. After 3 hours check that cake is cooked through by inserting a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked. If mixture clings to the skewer return to oven on low heat and cook further, until skewer comes out clean. Leave in tin to cool. Chocolate Christmas Cake For a delicious alternative to a traditional cake for all those chocoholics, try this mouth-watering chocolate Christmas cake! Ingredients 250g butter 6 fl oz water 150g Traidcraft dark brown sugar A good glug of brandy (use extra water or orange juice if preferred) 1kg Traidcraft mixed dried fruit 40g glace ginger, finely minced Half a cup Traidcraft cocoa powder Half teaspoon bi-carb soda 1 tablespoon treacle 5 eggs, lightly beaten 200g plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 100g chopped Traidcraft walnuts and / or brazil nuts 200g chopped Traidcraft More than just dark chocolate When chopping the fruit, nuts and chocoloate, aim to get everything the size of a large sultana Method Pre-heat your oven to 150 degrees celcius (300F). Grease and line a 20cm (8") round or square cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Make a lining paper sit up 2.5cm (1") higher than the top of the tin. Because the baking time is 2 hours, wrap the outside of the cake tin with foil or a double layer of brown paper to help deflect some of the heat. Put the butter, water, brown sugar and brandy into a large saucepan, and bring slowly to a simmer until the butter has melted. Add the fruits, ginger and cocoa powder. Stir through. Cover with a lid and bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the ingredients aren't sticking to the pan. Then, remove from the heat, stir through the bi-carb soda, cover and leave to cool. Once the fruit mixture has colled to room temperature, stir through the treacle and beaten eggs. Then, stir through the flour, baking powder, nuts and chocolate until completely combined. Spread the cake batter into the prepared cake tin. Tap the tin on the bench several times to settle the mix. Place on a baking tray and bake for 150 degrees C for 2 hours. The cake may take a little longer to cook, but at two hours test the middle of the cake with a skewer to see if it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and cover the top of the cake tin with foil to trap the moisture in. Leave the chocolate Christmas cake to cool completely before removing from the tin. You can decorate as you usually would or why not try white chocolate made into snowy peaks for a seasonal alternative?!
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