Howdy dearies! Christmas is so close now I can almost smell it! I have a crazy amount of things to finish off at work before I can wish you Merry Christmas though and it is terrifying me a little bit!
Plus I am far away working in Bangalore this week, a break from the Christmas fever and from the chilly Scandinavian weather. But before I left, I had just enough time to bake a cake, the perfect Christmas Cake
Remember those gorgeous dry fruits I soaked in rum last week? Well, they were just so luscious and succulent after being steeped in rum for a week, that I know this cake is going to be fabulous.
Now I wont babble on too much as I usually do. Let’s get straight to the step-by-step details, that I tried to photograph as much as I could.
It’s all quite simple really: you make a cake batter with flour, brown sugar, spices, eggs, roasted nuts and the lovely, lovely soaked dry fruits.
Prepare a spring-form pan that is lined with baking paper. The baking paper should tower over the sides of the pan as you can see from the picture above. Pour in the prepared batter and bake for about 2 hours on a low temperature.
Look at that brown beauty! Isn’t she gorgeous 😀 Allow the cake to cool completely and then peel off the baking paper from the sides, but let the bottom disc remain.
Then poke some holes in the cooled cake. The holes should not go all the way to the bottom of the cake, so that the alcohol or juice doesn’t drain out.
Next, on your work surface, place a large piece of aluminium foil and on top of it, a large piece of baking paper. Both should be large enough to wrap the cake completely.
Place the cake on the baking paper and scrunch up the baking paper and aluminium foil on the sides to make sure they are large enough to cover the cake.
Next, baste the top of the cake with rum or sherry a few times. I used Pedro Ximenez, which is a very sweet sherry. To make a non-alcoholic version, brush with Orange Juice.
Then gather the sides of the baking paper over the cake to wrap it completely. Do the same with the aluminium foil. Make sure that the foil doesn’t touch the cake directly, as it can react with the alcohol and we don’t want that!
Place the cake in an airtight cookie or cake tin and keep away from sunlight. In the weeks leading to Christmas, unwrap the cake a few times and ‘feed’ it with sherry or rum.
Phew! That is it! Now begins the waiting game. I will be back a few days before Christmas with decorating and serving ideas. Be sure to tune in
What do you think? How are you preparing for Christmas? I would love to hear from you! Drop me a line, make my day 😀
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- 1 serving of Soaked Dry Fruits (see previous post)
- 1 cup chopped Mixed Nuts (Pistachios, Walnuts, Cashew Nuts, Pecans, Almonds)
- 185 grams All-purpose Flour
- 100 grams Almond Meal (substitute with flour if not available)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs
- 150 grams Brown Sugar
- 75 grams Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground Cloves
- ½ teaspoon Dried Ground Ginger
- 225 grams Butter
- ½ cup Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 110 C.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until they’re light and fluffy.
- Next add the eggs one at a time working them into the creamed mixture till well combined.
- Sift in the flour, almond meal and baking powder and mix well.
- Next add the soaked dry fruits, nuts, chocolate chips and the spices and mix well.
- Line the base and the sides of a 24 cm. round, deep tin.
- Pour in the cake mixture and level the top.
- Bake in the oven for approx. 2 hours,
- Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes and start checking for done-ness at about 1 hour 30 minutes in. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
- Once the cake is cold, remove it from the tin removing the baking paper from the sides of the cake but keeping the base disc in place. This will help keep in moisture as the cake is 'fed' in the run up to Christmas.
- Next, on your worksurface lay out a large piece of aluminium foil, large enough to wrap the cake completely. You can also use 2 pieces and lay them on top of each other, one vertical and one horizontal.
- On top of that place a large sheet of baking paper. (you can also use 2 sheets of baking paper, like the foil).
- Finally position the cake in the middle.
- Using a skewer, poke 30-40 holes in the top of the cake, only ¾’s of the depth of the cake though so that the sherry or other liquid doesn’t run straight through.
- Using a pastry brush, brush over the entire top of the cake with the sherry, brandy, rum or orange juice. You are looking to add 1 or 2 teaspoons of liquid in each feed.
- Once fed, gather up the baking paper and seal in the cake, repeating with the foil layer.
- Now place the whole lot in a suitable airtight container. You can use a large cookie or cake tin.
- Place the container into a cupboard or another suitable place, where it is out of direct sunlight.
- Feed it every 3-4 days for the next few weeks or until the cake won’t absorb anymore.
- If you come to feed it and it appears wet then leave it to soak in for a couple of days before adding anymore.
- Note: for the non-alcoholic version, only make the cake a couple of days before serving and feed it a few times with orange juice.