Rich and fruity with lots of booze. Perfect for Christmas, or at anytime at all.
I saw a lovely recipe on Delia Smith’s wesbite for a Creole Christmas Cake. It was a rich, fruity cake, with lots of different alcohols in it. I couldn’t fathom why it was ‘Creole’, but I was certainly intrigued by how it would taste. It certainly promised to be very good indeed. So I decided that I would make a version of it, with a couple of variations, including extra nuts on top and using different flour, and using some baking powder. I also didn’t soak the fruits in the alcohol for as long as the original recipe suggested. I also omitted the chopped mixed peel, which I love, as I wanted something slightly different to the most usual Christmas cake, but that can be added too, 110g would be enough.
Although I used the suggested alchohols I think they could be varied if people have particular favourites, or they don’t wish to buy some just for this purpose. I also think that using a fruit juice, such as orange, clementine or pineapple, instead of the alcohol would still provide a very tasty cake.
Because the fruit needs to be steeped in the liquids for a number of days this cake takes a while to make. But the effort involved doesn’t take more than an hour in total. It is very simple indeed, as are most Christmas cakes. It is just a case of soaking and heating the fruits, and some nuts and spices, in the alcohole and simmering for 10 minutes, then it is cooled and stored for 4 or 5 days, during which time any remaining liquid should be absorbed into the fruit. The fruit can be shaken, or stirred each day too, helping that process.
Then after 5 days the cake batter is made and mixed with the fruit and nuts before being baked in an 8 inch square cake tin.
I topped mine with some walnuts and pecans, simply because I like a simple cake like that. But ,for those who wish too, the topping of nuts can be omitted and replaced with a layer of marzipan and fondant icing.
The cake, if wrapped aluminium foil and stored in an airtight container, will keep fresh for many months. So the whole cake doesn’t need to be eaten just at Christmas.
Mine turned out very well indeed. The taste was fantastic and had the soft fruity flavour and texture, with the nuts adding a bit of crunch. The alcohol was subtle and added great additional flavour and the spices gave a bit of residual flavour at the back of the throat too.
This is also a cake which can be fed with extra alcohol, if desired, by poking the top with a tooth pick and dribbling brandy or similar into it, once a week, and then wrapping and storing again until needed.
A more traditional cake for Christmas is this Christmas Cake.
For the fruit and soaking.
- 45ml(3 tbsp) rum
- 45ml(3 tbsp) brandy
- 45ml(3 tbsp) cherry brandy
- 45ml(3 tbsp)port
- 45ml(3 tbsp) water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 22 1/2 ml(1 1/2 tbsp)angostura bitters
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 450g(1 lb/3 cups) raisins
- 227g(8 oz/1 2/3 cups)currants
- 110g(3 1/2 oz, /2/3 cup) chopped dates
- 50g(1 3/4 oz, 1/4 cup) chopped glace cherries
- 50g(1 3/4 oz ,1/2 cup) chopped mixed nuts
- 110g(3 1/2 oz, 2/3 cup) chopped mixed peel(if desired)
- 250g(1 2/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250 ml cup) plain flour
- 250g(1 1/4 cups) light brown sugar
- 250g(2 sticks + 2 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
- 5 large eggs(XL in USA) (or 6 medium eggs – large in USA)
- 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
- selection of nuts to place on top before baking, if desired.
- Place all the fruits, the liquids and the chopped nuts, as well as the spice and the salt into a saucepan and place on a low heat.
- Heat until the mixture is simmering, giving it a few stirs too.
- Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Transfer to a container and store in the fridge for 4 or 5 days, stirring or shaking, each day.
- Preheat the oven to 140C/285F.
- Grease an 8 inch/20 cm square cake tin and line with parchment paper.
- Mix the baking powder into the flour.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully combined.
- Add the flour, in two additions and mix again, until fully combined
- Add the fruit mixture, gradually, stirring to ensure it is evenly distributed into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into the cake tin and spread to level on the top.
- Place nuts, if using, on the top in whatever pattern you wish.
- Bake in the oven for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours cover the top of the cake with a double layer of parchment paper, just laying on top.
- Bake for a further hour.
- Test the top, it should be springy and a skewer in the centre should come out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 45 minutes in the cake tin.
- Then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Wrap in aluminium foil and store in an airtight container until it is to be served.