Christmas is a time that we try a little harder to express love, love of friends, love of family.
What better expression of love is there than to create something with your own two hands, that you can share with everyone that will bring a little bit of joy and happiness into their lives.
Christmas cakes and Christmas fruit cake is just the thing for one to express that love.
One cannot stress this warning strong enough with this dessert.
ChristianTraditionalists believe that Christmas should be a celebration about the Birth of Christ Jesus, surrounded by family and loved ones. When one thinks of giving gifts, the best gift is if you give of yourself.
Christmas dinner would not be complete without a slice or two of Christmas Fruitcake drizzled with a hot brandy sauce, so here is a recipe to try.
One thing that is great about this recipe is that you can enjoy all of the flavor and not have to worry about the alcoholic content because the alcohol cooks off and you are left with just the decedent flavor.
You will need the following ingredients, but keep in mind that some of the measurements are to your taste and can be varied.
If you want a fruitcake that will really impress your guests, place all your fruits into a large bowl and soak them for 5 or 6 days, covered over with Brandy or Rum. The longer you permit the fruit to soak the better the flavour will become.
2 and a 1/4 cups all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 and a 1/4 teaspoon of mixed spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, alspice, ground cloves,)
1 cup of butter (soften to room temperature)
1 and a 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
1 and a 1/4 tablespoon black molasses (slightly warmed)
3-4 drops of vanilla extract
1 and a 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 and a 1/2 cups black currants
1 and a 1/2 cups black raisins
1/3 cup chopped mixed peel
3/4 cup chopped glazed cherries (red and green)
3/4 cup of pineapple (cubed) (fresh or candied)
2 cups candied fruits
2/3 cup of blanched almonds or cashews chopped
1/4 cup shaved almonds (to decorate the top)
2/3 cup of walnuts chopped
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of brandy
Prep time is about 1 hour:
Cooking time is 3 -1/2 to 4 hrs.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Baking tin preparations:
Using a 9 inch spring form cake baking pan, place the pan on a sheet of greaseproof parchment paper and draw out a circle for the bottom of the pan cutting just inside the circle. Then cut a strip of the greaseproof parchment paper to cover the inside edge of the baking pan. Now lightly brush the base paper and side paper with some melted butter. To prevent the outside of the cake from over cooking, cut a double strip of parchment paper to fit around the outside of the baking tin and fasten it with a paper clip.
In a large mixing bowl or blender sift 1/2 your flour, salt and spices and blend with your butter. The add in your sugar and molasses and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and your eggs one at a time adding a little flour with each egg to prevent curdling.
Beat thoroughly and fold in the rest of your ingredients except the remaining flour making sure they are all well mixed.
Finally fold in your remaining flour, lightly but thoroughly. Turn your mixture into your prepared baking pan and spread evenly and make a slight indent in the middle. To protect the top of your cake use a double thickness of parchment paper laid across the top.
Place the pan in the center of your oven and bake for about 3-4 hours. To check doneness, insert a toothpick or wooden skewer in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean and there is no hissing or sizzling noise cake is done.
Remove cake from oven and let sit to cool completely. Cake will shrink just a little from the edges. Once completely cooled down even cold, Remove from spring form pan onto your serving dish and voila you have a dark Christmas fruitcake fit for a king.
Now here’s what makes this Christmas fruitcake decadent. It’s a homemade sauce recipe that you can drizzle over the top to give you that mouthwatering extra special Christmas season kick.
In a medium saucepan melt together 2 -1/2 table spoons of butter and 1 -1/2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of orange juice and some cinnamon and nutmeg to taste and bring to a boil. Add in 3 or 4 teaspoons of brandy to taste. (alcohol will burn off leaving just the flavour of the brandy. Mix a little cornstarch with cold water and carefully whisk it into the mixture a little at a time until the mixture begins to thicken like a gravy and remove from heat immediately. Drizzle this hot aromatic sauce over a slice of cooled or cold cake and then enjoy.
Please remember to warn your friends and guests incase they have alergies
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Warning: Calorie counters and nut alergists beware.