Just an important note: This is NOT Banting….with all this fruit, it can never be. You can make it healthier by substituting sugar for xylitol and flour for almond flour. In my old days, you can see I made it with absolute no-nos like margarine (gasp)! As I got more health conscious I made it with butter and half the sugar and it was just as good.
My late mother-in- law passed this recipe down and this is a safe place to store it. I have to tell you, it is the best Christmas cake recipe ever!
250g cherries (the recipe actually is 200g, but as the cherries come in 250g, I use the whole lot)
10ml instant coffee
500ml boiling water
1kg dried fruitcake mixture
7ml bicarb (1 1/2 teaspoons)
300g sugar (1 and 1/3 measuring cup)
125g butter (1/4 of 500g block)
3 large eggs
360g cake flour (3 cups)
7ml baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ginger
Day 1 ~
Marinate the cherries in brandy. Leave overnight.
Day 2 ~
Dissolve cocoa and coffee in the boiling water.
Add fruit mix, bicarb of soda and sugar.
Heat and allow to boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool before adding the margarine/butter and cherries.
Day 3 ~
Prepare the baking tin.
This needs a bit of work and can be done at any time.
Next step is to cut out about 8 layers of newspaper to fit the base.
All of this work is to insulate the tin so that cake does not burn.
Next get 4 sheets of newspaper, fold them in half and then in half again. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper the same length and fold it over the newspaper. Staple the edges in place. Grease the pan and the greaseproof paper and fit it snugly into the tin. (Sometimes I put it round the outside but I have found the bottom edge of the cake burns.
Preparing the rest of the cake
Preheat the oven to 140C.
Beat the eggs and mix it into the fruit mixture. Then gradually add the flour…
The mixture will become sticky and heavy. Once all the flour is well combined with the fruit, pour it into the prepared pan.
Find a lid and pop it on. It will look a bit like this….
Put it in the oven and bake on 140C for 3 1/2 hours. Check at the 3 hour mark. If a skewer comes out clean, it’s done! Allow to cool completely before unpacking.