Christmas cake with marmalade
* 115 g mixed peel,
* 115 g glacÃ© cherries, chopped
* 450 g currants,
* 225 g sultanas,
* 225 g raisins,
* 350 g plain flour, sifted
* 1 tbsp black treacle, warmed
* 2 tbsp brandy,
* 5 large eggs, beaten
* 280 g butter,
* 280 g muscovado sugar,
* 1 tsp mixed spice,
* 1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated
* 1 tsp cinnamon,
* 1/2 tsp salt,
* 115 g almonds, finely chopped
* lemons, Method
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2.
2. Prepare the tin: for 23cm round tin or 20cm square tin: lightly grease the tin and line the base and sides with brown paper. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper the same size as the brown paper and line the inside of the tin. Cut 1cm slits upwards at the bottom, so it lies flat under the base papers. Allow enough paper to stand at least 5cm above the rim of the tin. Fit a cover of brown paper around the outside of the cake tin to come 5cm above the tin. Secure this with string.
3. For the cake: place all the fruit in a large bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon flour from the measured quantity to lightly coat the fruit.
4. In another bowl mix the treacle with the brandy and stir into the eggs.
5. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until soft and creamy. Carefully add the egg mixture alternately with a spoonful of the sieved flour (this stops it curdling). Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, the spices and salt until well mixed.
6. Add the fruit, almonds, lemon zest and marmalade and stir well until the fruit is evenly distributed.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 140C/gas 1 and cook for another 1 hour 30 minutes-2 hours until cooked.
8. To test the cake – press the top firmly. If it feels firm, take it out of the oven and listen. If there is a slight humming noise, it needs more cooking.