I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake! Some things run in the family! I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!
Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas. I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!
Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster. I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk! I was devastated and got teased about it for months!
I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!
I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy! You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard. I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!
A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition! She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!
Light Christmas Fruit Cake
375g soft butter
300ml brown sugar
500g Safari Cake Mix
250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)
750ml cake flour
15ml baking powder
10ml mixed spice
75ml brandy or whisky
100g whole almonds, blanched
Pre-heat oven to 170°C.
Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.
Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!
Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour to prevent curdling.
Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.
Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.
Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.