You may have seen the photos on my Instagram & Facebook pages, but if not, last week I began my assault on Christmas! I have a tried & tested Christmas cake recipe that hasn't failed me yet and isn't as heavy as a traditional fruit cake. It specifies 1kg of dried fruit so I mix it up a bit with apricots, cranberries, cherries, mixed peel and glace cherries as well as the obligatory sultanas so that it makes for a more interesting slice.
Almonds, orange & lemon zest and various mixed spices combine to make it super scrummy. You can use your preferred alcohol to soak the fruit beforehand too. For me it has to be sherry. The smell of it conjures up Christmasses past, making sherry butter with my Mum ready to slather on warm mince pies. Once everything was mixed up together and suitable wishes made, the fruity batter was poured into prepared tins, double wrapped inside with greaseproof paper and outside with newspaper secured with string.
The aromas wafting from the oven were divine and it took a lot of self control not to dig into one as soon as they were cool enough to handle! Fed with sherry whilst still cooling, they are now safely maturing in airtight containers awaiting the day they will be adorned with marzipan & icing :-)