Here in the UK, what's more traditional than the delicious, Christmas Fruit Cake? I created this recipe myself (after trial and error for a number of years!) to bring this traditional favourite bang up to date, offering a moist, yet crumbly cake which contains no eggs or butter.
To ice, or not ice? Well, that's entirely up to you..!
1kg Dried Mixed Fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel)
1 Orange (zest and juice)
1 Lemon (zest and juice)
100ml Brandy (plus additional 2 Tbsp for spooning)
250g Coconut Oil
200g Light Brown Soft Sugar
4 Tbsp Chia Seeds
175g Plain Flour
100g Ground Almonds
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
3 Tsp Mixed Spice
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Oz Brazil Nuts
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Marmalade
Optional: Almonds and glace cherries to decorate
Put the dried fruit, zest and juice of the orange and lemon, brandy, coconut oil and sugar into a large pan on a medium heat. Stir well. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 5 mins.
Carefully tip the hot mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
Heat the oven to 150 degrees C and prepare a 20cm x 9cm deep cake tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper (bottom and sides).
Mix the chia seeds with 150ml water and let sit for 5 mins.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and give it all a good stir.
Pour into the tin and bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in the top and spoon over 2 Tbsp brandy. Leave to cool in the tin.
Peel off the greaseproof paper, wrap in cling film and place in an airtight cake tin.
This cake will keep in the tin for 4-5 weeks so can be made well in advance. If you would like to decorate it with marzipan and icing, this should be done in the week that you want to eat it. Happy Christmas!