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Lex's Christmas Cake

This recipe for a ‘boiled’ fruit cake came from our resident decorating expert, Lex. It is simply prepared and baked using minimal specialist equipment and doubles as an easy to throw together ‘everyday, fill the tins’ cake during the year as well as a wonderful, lightly fruited Christmas cake. The boiling in the title refers to the practice of heating the dried fruit with sugar, butter, water and spices to plump the fruit and get the spices blooming before the cake is baked. The result is a super moist, great keeping cake that even avowed Christmas cake haters have been known to enjoy.


INGREDIENTS


Fruit mix;
1kg mixed, dried fruit*
200g castor sugar
250mls water
1 Tbsp Golden syrup
1 tbsp mixed spice
125gm Butter, cubed
1 tspn Baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
1 tspn Ground ginger


*You may use any mixture of dried fruit (perhaps go more heavily on the sultanas, raisins and currants and then add cherries, peel, etc as desired - you could also include a small amount of slivered almonds) as long as the total weight equals 1kg.

METHOD


Place dried fruit, sugar, water, golden syrup, mixed spice, butter and baking soda all into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once it has come to the boil turn off the heat and allow it to cool naturally to room temperature. Then add the eggs, flour, baking powder, ground ginger and vanilla. Mix gently to combine, without over beating. Place mixture into your prepared and lined 20cm Square cake tin, smoothing the top and making sure the mixture is pushed right into the corners. Bake at 150C for an hour and a half to two hours.