A traditional Christmas cake is a type of fruitcake served during the Christmas season. While rum is the favoured ingredient in most Indian households, this recipe uses brandy to sharpen flavours. Christmas Cake improves with freezing. If you are late making your cake, pop it in the freezer for a couple of weeks before icing.
Grease a loose bottomed cake tin and line with paper
Mix all the dry ingredients together and stir well to make sure there are no lumps. Mix together all the dried fruit and peel, and the chopped almonds
Cream together the butter, brown sugar and lemon rind in a large mixing bowl until fluffy
Beat in 8 of the eggs one at a time. Gradually add the flour mixture
Mix in the fruit and stir well. Transfer to a larger bowl if needed
Stir in the brandy and lemon juice
The mixture should be soft but not runny
If necessary, add the extra egg with a little milk until the mixture stirs easily
Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, leveling the top
Bake in a preheated oven 150 degrees C for 45 minutes. Tie a double layer of brown paper round the outside of the cake tin. Also place a circle of brown paper over the cake to prevent the top burning
The cake is cooked when a fine skewer in the cake comes out clean and when the cake shrinks away slightly from the side of the tin. Decorate with marzipan and icing. It's really simple nowadays with the ready roll marzipan and icing available in the supermarkets. Make the cake a few weeks before Christmas and store in an air tight container
Pierce with a needle and soak with brandy several times before icing
Note: Christmas cake is one of the few things that improve with freezing. If you are late making your cake, pop it in the freezer for a couple of weeks before icing
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Chandri Bhat is a renowned food consultant who guides people with her culinary expertise.