350 g sultanas
200 g pitted prunes, chopped
200 g dates, chopped
125 g currants
125 g dried apricots, chopped
250 g raisins
1 medium Granny Smith apple, grated
250 g butter, cubed
½ cup brandy
½ cup Cointreau
250 g brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon, ground
2 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp marmalade
80 g whole blanched almonds, to decorate
- Place dried fruit, grated apple, butter, brandy, Cointreau, brown sugar and spices into a large saucepan on medium heat, induction setting 6, until the butter has melted. Stir all ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Add the bi-carb soda to the hot mixture and stir through. The mixture will expand.
- Set the fruit mixture aside until it cools.
- Line a 20cm square, or 22cm round cake tin with two layers of baking paper. Ensure the baking paper has a 5cm collar above the tin edge.
- Preheat oven on Conventional at 130°C.
- Add sifted flours, cocoa, eggs and marmalade to the cooled mixture and thoroughly combine.
- Pour into prepared cake tin, smoothing the top with a wet palette knife or wet hand.
- Arrange the almonds decoratively on the top of the cake.
- Place into the oven on shelf position 2 and bake for 3–3½ hours, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Cool completely before cutting. This cake is best stored in the refrigerator.
Hints and tips
- Traditionally Christmas cake is made in advance and then ‘fed’ with alcohol or fruit juice every fortnight in the lead-up to Christmas, feeding no more than four times during the maturation period.
- The cake can be fed using rum, brandy, whisky, liqueurs or fortified wine such as Madeira or port.