12 oz plain flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. mixed spice
½ tsp. salt
4 oz candied peel
4 oz cherries
2 lb. Dried fruit
4 oz blanched almonds
4 tbsp. sherry
Finely grated 1 lemon
8 oz margarine
8 oz sugar
1 tbsp. black treacle
Sieve together all the dry ingredients.
Mix the peel, fruit, cherries, chopped almonds and lemon rind.
Whisk the eggs and sherry together.
Cream the margarine, sugar and black treacle until soft.
Add the flour and egg mixtures alternately to the margarine.
Stir in the fruit mixture.
Put into an 8-9 inch tin, lined with greaseproof paper round the sides and at the bottom. Tie a double band of brown paper round the outside of the rim, standing well up above the top of it.
Put in the middle of a hot oven. Bake for 31/4-31/2 hours at gas mark 3 for the first 11/2 hours, and then decrease to gas mark 2 for the remainder.
12ozs Golden raisins
8oz Brown sugar
8oz Butter or Margarine
4oz Mixed peel
1/2 Lemon - grated rind
Orange - grated rind
2 oz Chopped almonds
1-1/2 tsp Mixed spice
1 tbs Black treacle (Molasses)
Milk if required
Cream together the butter and sugar, salt, mixed spice, treacle, add eggs one at a time. Stir in the fruit and flour in alternate batches until thoroughly mixed.
Use a metal pan about 10" wide x 5" or six inch high, one with a loose bottom is best. Line sides and bottom of pan with wax paper allowing the paper to extend up over the sides by an inch.
Put in round pan and bake at 325f for 1 hour and turn down to 300f and continue cooking for at least 2 hours and then check for doneness by inserting thin instrument until it comes out clean.
Store the cakes upside-down (you put the icing on the bottom and sides) and leave for about 2 weeks in an airtight tin. Poke holes a few inches down into bottom of cake and pour over sherry or brandy. Repeat this procedure two or three times over a two day period. Keep stored in airtight tin.
Roll out the marzipan and stick to sides and bottom of cake with melted apricot jam. Leave a few days to dry and ice with the royal icing.
English christmas cakes traditionally involve a complicated two-tiered icing procedure - first a layer of soft marzipan icing followed by a cement layer of white sugar icing, known as royal icing. The women in my family dispensed with this tedious process a couple of generations ago, substituting with one quick and delicious layer of butter icing. This only takes ten minutes to whip up and protects the cake, keeping it moist and fresh right through the Christmas season and well into January.
175 g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
500 g icing sugar
3 tbsp rum or brandy
Beat butter and sifted icing sugar together until creamy. Add vanilla and rum (or brandy). Cover cake with icing then with a wet fork make soft peaks across the surface of the icing.