Okay, so finally, in between the farewells, and thank you morning teas, and birthday get togethers, and Christmas parties, and Orientation Day, and Presentation Assembly and Graduation Assembly, and Graduation Dance, and volunteering for the above, and swimming carnivals, not to mention paid work and the work I do around here... a window of opportunity opened yesterday to make this year's Christmas cake.
When I mused about not having done anything regarding Christmas, Libby kindly suggested that I don't do the cake and the pudding this year, as we mums try to do too much sometimes. I agree with you, Libby, so I put my lack of time case to my mum and she volunteered to do the pudding this year. I don't think she minded one bit. But I like baking, and seem to have so little time to do things I like these days, that I really wanted to make the cake.
This is a really easy cake. Boil and bake, no fiddling about with creaming butter. The best part: everything is made in one saucepan. I love that. Here it is:
An Easy Christmas Cake
300 g butter
400g brown sugar
900g mixed fruit - I used a mixture of raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, currants, prunes and dates.
2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/2 cup rum or brandy
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp each ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour
Melt the butter and sugar together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Tip in the fruit, and give it a good mix. Add the bicarb, rum/brandy and water. Stir and bring to the boil. When the mixture is at the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool completely. Add the eggs, spices and flour to the fruit mixture. Stir well, and place in a 23cm springform pan, lined with a double layer of baking paper. Cook for at least 2 1/2 hours at 150 degrees,or until a skewer comes out cleanly.
You could decorate your cake with nuts before baking - I used almonds.
Now, it's time to get on with Christmas shopping. When is Christmas again?