This recipe is a very special one for me to be sharing as it is my Grandma’s old-fashioned, delicious Christmas cake. Packed with sultanas, almonds, currants and other ingredients, this boozy rendition of our holiday favourite is a definite winner. Thanks too, to my aunty Gill Pryke, who passed the recipe down to me from her well-used family recipe book. It’s an expensive cake to make but it is well worth the cost, time and effort! It will also last up to four months in an airtight container.
700g butter, cubed
230g whole almonds
700g castor sugar
450g citrus peel
1 pinch salt
1 750ml bottle of brandy
Mix all the ingredients together by hand. Using a stand-mixer will risk over-mixing the mixture, resulting in a heavier finish.
Pre-heat the oven to 130c.
Line the cake tins with parchment paper. Fill with the mixture remembering that it won’t rise due to there being no raising agent. Pour about half a cup of brandy over each cake.
Wrap each tin with newspaper so that it extends about 10cm above the top of the tin and tie with string. Make it about 6 layers thick. Cover with a piece of parchment paper with a hole in the top to allow steam to escape. This stage is necessary to make sure the cake rises and browns evenly.
Bake at 130c for about 4-6 hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and take off the covering.
Pour a cup of brandy over the cakes and allow it to soak in whilst still in the tin. Remove the cake from the tin and finish the bottle of brandy by alternating it between the bottom and top of the cake. Wrap the cake in wax wrap or paper and keep in an airtight container for up to four months, dosing with a little more brandy each month.
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