Thank you so much to Solveig or inviting me to participate in her Advent Calendar.
Magical, Boozy, Nutty Christmas Cake
Simmer and Stir!!!
175g butter, chopped
200g dark muscovado sugar
750g luxury mixed dried fruit
Finely grated zest and juice of one orange
Finely grated zest of one lemon
100ml Amaretti plus at least 4 tbsps more
85g macadamia nuts
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
85g ground almond
200g plain flour
Half a teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Quarter teaspoon ground allspice
Mugs of steaming mulled wine for you to drink while baking!
Some Christmas music in the background.
- First things first grab a helper. A friend, family member (my daughter helped,) or a pet to keep you company whilst baking the cake. Be sure to offer the friend, or family helper a steaming mug of mulled wine but keep alcohol away from your cat or dog. Some doggy or cat treats would suffice instead.
- Buy, steal or borrow your ingredients. If you’re anything like me you’ll discover that you’ve forgotten something and will have to improvise. The original recipe called for Cherry Brandy so I chucked in some Amaretti. It also suggested mixed dried fruit with peel and glace cherries so instead I picked up a packet of mixed fruit with cranberries and apricots.I love cranberries and apricots! All good so far. I forgot the large oranges which sent me into a state of OMG – help terror. Once I calmed down I swapped and used some little ones instead. If you want to see the original recipe (which might be wise! LOL.)
Here is the link: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1160/simmerandstir-christmas-cake
- Put the butter, sugar, fruit, zests, juice of the orange and 100 ml alcohol of your choice in a large pan. Bring slowly to bowl making sure all the butter is melted. Reduce the heat stir occasionally.
- Remove from the pan and leave to cool for half an hour. Hey if you don’t do this you will curdle the eggs at the next stage. Believe me – the cat and dog said so.
- Time to preheat the oven to 150 C/gas 2/fan 130 and while you’re about it line a 8 inch tin. I can be bossy sometimes!
- Toast and toss those nuts into a frenzy in a dry pan, until they are naughty, nice and gently brown. When they have cooled down cut them up roughly. Stir those eggs, nuts and ground almonds into the mixture and mix them together with lashings of love. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the pan. Try not to cover yourself and the cat and dog with it. Stir gently making sure all the flour is mixed in well.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the tin. Make sure you even it all out so its not a magnificent mound in the middle, flatten it with a wooden spoon. This is easier to do if you first dip your wooden spoon in hot boiling water.
- Bake for 45 minutes uninterrupted (yes my daughter opened the door before this time and this isn’t recommended,) and then turn down the heat to 140C gas 1 fan 120C and cook for a further 1 to 1hour 15 mins. About 1 and 3/4 hour if you have a gas oven until the cake is dark golden and firm to the touch. By the way I didn’t trust my oven so after the initial 45 minutes I kept on peaking at it to see it was OK.
- Cover the cake top with foil if it is darkening too much. To check whether it is ready insert a fine skewer and if it comes out clean you know its ready.
- Make holes over the warm cake with a fine skewer and add the alcohol. Once all the alcohol has been wolfed down by the cake, add some more. Remove the baking parchment and cover with foil. Leave the drunken cake to cool and sober up in the tin. It needs to sleep off or it will have a serious cake hangover.
- On a serious note the cake can keep in the cupboard for up to 3 months or in the freezer for 6 months.
Have a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.
What Christmas cake recipe/s did you use this year?
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