With the Halloween decorations well and truly packed away and Bonfire Night all done and dusted for another year, it is time for The Wobbly Jelly to focus on Christmas. And first things first, the cake needs baking.
There are thousands of recipes for fruit cakes out there but this failsafe recipe has been baked for decades by my dear friend Charlotte’s Granny who will celebrate her 93rd birthday on Christmas Day. Since Charlotte shared the recipe with me 7 years ago, I have baked it every year as not only is it totally delicious but it’s super easy to throw together.
250g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Mixed Spice
1 Tablespoon Cocoa
454g Mixed Fruit
200g Glace Cherries (I replace these with Dried Cherries and Cranberries)
200g (Soft) Butter
200g Soft Brown Sugar
4 Eggs beaten
Finely Grated Zest and the Juice of a Lemon
1 Tablespoon of Black Treacle
Brandy or Rum (lots)
Brown Paper/Greaseproof paper/String and Old Cardboard
20 cm x 20cm Square Tin
Soak the dried fruit and lemon zest in the juice of the lemon and enough alcohol to completely cover the fruit, overnight.
Prepare the tin. Grease and double line with greaseproof paper or parchment. Attach brown paper around the outside of the tin with string and find two pieces of cardboard which will be placed underneath and on top of the cake tin.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Beat the sugar, butter, eggs and treacle together and add to the dry ingredients.
Add the soaked fruit to the mixture and stir thoroughly.
Pour into the prepared tin and place a piece of card under and on top of the tin.
Cook at 150 degrees for 1 hour.
Turn the oven down to 140 degrees and cook for a further three hours or until a skewer comes out clean.
When out of the oven, give the cake tin a bang on the work surface and leave to cool.
Once completely cool, wrap the cake in parchment paper, then in foil and store in an airtight container until you are ready to marzipan and ice the cake. To make the cake extra special feed it on a weekly basis with the leftover brandy or rum.