My Dad is the Christmas cake king.
Every year he makes more than a 100 cakes to give to everyone from friends and relatives to our grocery guy and fish monger.
He spends weeks researching recipes and experimenting.
The goal is to always better last year’s cake.
Raisins are dried and sultanas are soaked in rum.
Walnuts are chopped and blackcurrants are washed.
The funny thing is- I don’t like Christmas cake.
(He always makes a special walnut cake just for me.)
But this year, one bite of the cake and I was a convert.
Every bite gives you something new in your mouth.
Here is what happened with my most recent slice:
A juicy rum-soaked sultana.
Crunchy, crunchy walnut.
Snappy ginger peel.
Shiny, sour blackcurrant.
Warm spicy hit of cinnamon.
Plump, dark raisin.
See what I mean?
This recipe is infinitely adaptable.
Use more walnuts or less.
Don’t use blackcurrants if you don’t want to.
Add more sultanas if you’re a fan.
Do your own thing.
The main ingredient (like Dad says) is love
You can’t go wrong with that.
Have a wonderful Christmas, friends!
Oh and here’s a little look at our tree.
Dad’s Christmas Cake
Prep time: 25 mins (plus overnight if you’re soaking fruits)
Cook time: 1 – 1 and a half hours
3 large eggs
50 g white sugar
50 g brown sugar
100 g butter (salted is fine, but softened)
100 g flour, sifted
100 g mixed dried fruit, chopped or fruit soaked in rum (choose from raisins, sultanas, blackcurrants, ginger peel, glazed cherries, mixed peel, candied fruits like murabba)
50 g walnuts, chopped
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp dark caramel or treacle
1. Preheat the oven to 160º C. Separate the eggs and whisk the whites until stiff. Keep aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat both the sugars with the butter. Add the yolks and beat again.
3. Now add the flour and mix well. Next, add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Fold the egg whites into this mixture gently, and pour into a tin lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil and bake for one hour. Check by inserting a skewer; it should come out clean. If not bake for a few more minutes.
5. Remove, and cool on a wire rack before eating.