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Recipe: Verity James’ Christmas Cake

With the festive season only a few weeks away, gastronomic goddess Verity James shared her tips for the perfect Christmas cake.

Perth Tonight listeners called in with their recipes too, including Pat from Bullsbrook with her ‘lazy cook’s’ version of the festive treat.

Listen to the audio clip below for Pat’s recipe and scroll down to see Verity’s mouth-watering take on the traditional cake:

VJ’s brandy-soaked fruit cake for Christmas

Ingredients:

– 1 kilogram mixed dried fruits (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, prunes or figs)
– zest and juice one orange and one lemon
– 150mL brandy, sherry, whisky or rum (plus extra for feeding)
– 250g pack butter, softened
– 200g light soft brown sugar
– 175g plain flour
– 100g ground almonds
– ? tsp baking powder
– 2 tsp mixed spice
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– ? tsp ground cloves
– 100g flaked almonds
– 4 large eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Put the dried fruit, zests, juice, alcohol, butter and sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and turn off. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan-forced. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside. Tie with string to secure.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour. Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for two hours.

3. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over two tablespoons of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

4. To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with one to two tablespoons of alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it. Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

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