CHRISTMAS CAKE – Dutch Fruit Cake

The first Christmas after I got married, my husband had to work on Christmas Day so I met him at lunchtime and we had a picnic lunch in the Botanical Gardens, which was a lovely way to celebrate our first Christmas together.  That first Christmas also meant my first Christmas cake baking effort.  It was a disaster, a soggy undercooked cake – ruined. When I told Mum she smiled and told me to mashing it all up in a bowl add a cup of cold tea and recook it as a pudding and to this day I’m still amazed that it worked.  My cooking improved somewhat after that and this Dutch Fruit Cake became the recipe I used for many years.  Adding the mixed peel and nuts and brushing the cake with brandy while still hot makes the cake a little more Christmasy.Dutch Fruit Cake croppedDUTCH FRUIT CAKE

  • 125g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 125g currants
  • 250g raisins
  • 375g sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • lemon juice
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 cup Self Raising Flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 dessertspoon treacle or golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon bi-carb soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water

Line a cake tin with a layer of brown paper and a layer of baking paper.  Boil together butter, sugar, water, fruit, spices, lemon juice for 3 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  When cool stir in beaten eggs, flours, treacle and lastly bi-carb soda dissolved in boiling water.   Bake in a moderate oven 180o for 2 hours.  Mixed peel and nuts can be added if like.  For a Christmas touch – when still hot from the oven pierce the cake with a skewer and brush with brandy.




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