Christmas cake

PUBLISHED: 13:17 22 November 2007 | UPDATED: 15:19 12 May 2010

Ingredients 225g (8oz) currants 225g (8oz) raisins 225g (8oz) sultanas 100g (4oz) chopped glace cherries 50g (2oz) mixed peel 1/2 glass brandy and port, mixed 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 tsp almond essence 225g (8oz) softened unsalted butter 225g (8oz) dark s

Ingredients

225g (8oz) currants

225g (8oz) raisins

225g (8oz) sultanas

100g (4oz) chopped glace cherries

50g (2oz) mixed peel

1/2 glass brandy and port, mixed

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp almond essence

225g (8oz) softened unsalted butter

225g (8oz) dark soft brown sugar

4 large eggs, separated

225g (8oz) self-raising flour, sieved

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spice

Method

THIS is a traditional recipe which makes a lovely rich fruit cake, which incidentally does not contain nuts.

You can cover it with marzipan and icing as usual, or just leave plain and decorate with a gold frill.

It keeps for several weeks wrapped in greaseproof paper and stored in a tin.

Put all the dried fruit, cherries, peel, brandy, port, vanilla and almond essences into a large mixing bowl.

Mix well, cover and leave to stand overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2, 150 deg C, 300 deg F. Grease and line a 9 inch (22.5cm) round or 8 inch (20cm) square cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.

Beat the egg yolks and add with the fruit mixture to the bowl, mixing well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and spices and add to the mixture. Stir thoroughly.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and stir in. Turn into the cake tin and bake for two-two-and-a-half hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

JUDY BROADWAY

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