Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nutty Christmas Cake

    Along with the carols one familiar sound from my Christmas past was the sound of Dad popping open a plastic container then a shriek "Robert! Stop eating the nuts off the top of the cake!"

    This was as regular as clockwork till the nuts were, eventually no more. Cashews and Brazil nuts were a particular favourite.

    This would go on every year and I would think why don't you just add more nuts??

    So then it came to me making a cake for him as part of a hamper, I was very clear on the brief......NUTS!

    Right on track the whole top was covered, not a single crumb was visible. 

    I must have done ok as this year I had the phone call "you ARE making the cake again?" so I guess that meant I was.

    I think there is something to be said about knowing your audience as he is divorced and now married to a bloke called Bruce, let's face it my Dad really, really likes........Fruitcake!

    (Where were you going with that sentence?? Filthy!)

    Nutty Christmas Cake
  • 650g dried fruit (see note)
  • 150ml brandy
  • 250g butter soften unsalted
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 30g treacle
  • 30g jam (any kind I had strawberry and blood orange)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon ground (2g)
  • 2 tsp. mixed spice (4g)
  • 100g almond meal
  • 300g plain flour
  • 100g nuts (a mix of those listed below)
  • Additional hazelnuts, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, slivered almonds to decorate
  • Extra brandy for feeding
  • Soak the fruit in the brandy for about 24 hours
  • Roughly chop the 100g of nuts
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl till paler and fluffy
  • Slowly add eggs and beat till combined
  • Add treacle, jam and spices beat through for 30 seconds
  • Stir through flour and almond meal
  • Stir through fruits and nuts till mixture is well combined
  • Spoon into a lined 20cm square cake time (or shape of your preference)
  • Smooth over the top
  • Decorate with as little or as many nuts as you like (more is more)
  • Bake at 150°C for 3 hours till a skewer comes out clean
  • Let cool and then remove from tin
  • Brush top with additional brandy about 10-15ml, repeat weekly till ready to serve.
  • Store in a plastic container
Note: My fruit mix varies so I think of it as a total of fruit rather than individual quantities of each. It has raisin, sultanas, currents, figs, cranberries, dates, mixed peel, sometimes pineapple or ginger and even the almost compulsory but loathed glace cherry (but only 1, 2 tops!)
     If your eggs look let they have curdled, as mine because butter and eggs are never the exact some temperature, a tbsp. of the weighed flour will bring it back together.

     You can present the cake with a decorative border either, paper, foil or material, fastened with a pin to be removed before serving.
    Some food writers if in a rush may stick it together with a Band-Aid not shown in the picture, but they would almost never write about it.

I had run out of mixed spice (I must have done some baking recently) so whipped up some of my own and used 3 tsp. of this mix.
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 tsp. of ground ginger
1 tsp. of ground coriander
1 tsp. of all spice
1/2 a nutmeg grated

I may not buy mixed spice again but I will certainly be buying a new spice mill!


  1. Were we separated at birth?! I used to love eating the nuts off Christmas cake! Although you have one up on me, I have never made one quite like this… it looks stupendous!

    1. Thanks, it is definitely not allergy friendly. May be you are a long lost aunty? do you have a villa in Tuscany you'll need to bequeath?

  2. Onto my second bake with this recipe. First cake recieved glowing reports from work colleagues. Thanks for the tutelage again Jason xx

  3. That cake looks amazing. I haven't made a Christmas cake in years but that recipe could definitely tempt me. Shame I have no-one else to help eat it :(.

  4. Love the look of this cake. I haven't made a Christmas cake in years but this recipe could certainly tempt me to break out the baking stuff again. Shame I have no-one to help eat it though :(.

  5. Love your Modern Family Christmas. Bandaid? What bandaid?