Here is a recipe for a simple, completely stress-free Christmas cake that Penelope, one of the Mana trustees, has made for the past 30 years.It is rich, moist and delicious – and the only washing up is a pan, a wooden spoon and the cake tin you bake it in!
1 kg of mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas and currants)
½ cup chopped glacé cherries OR crystallised ginger
½ cup sliced almonds
1 cup raw sugar
125 g butter
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of water
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 beaten free-range eggs
approx. 24 each whole blanched almonds and whole glacé cherries (to decorate)
- In a large pan combine the first nine ingredients. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Boil for three minutes then allow to cool.
- When cooled, sift in the flour and baking powder then gently stir in the eggs. Mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into a large greased or lined cake tin and decorate the top with whole blanched almonds.
- Bake at 160 degrees°C for up to two hours (test with a skewer after one and a half hours to see if it is ready sooner).
Note: Mini Christmas cakes can be cooked in large muffin tins (cooking time around 30 minutes at 160 degrees°C).