Rich Christmas Cake
61 g eggs [Hunh? S.C.]
Parisian essence [Hunh?,
Everyone knows that there never was Christmas cake as good as the one
Mum makes. Well, here it is. With surpassing generosity, Raw
Materials' Mum gave permission for the family recipe, used down the
years, to appear here, its imperial measures at last converted to
metric. [Lucky us, eh... ;-} S.C.]
Clean and prepare all fruit except the prunes. Pick over vine fruit
and remove any stems. Chop the larger fruit into small pieces (a
pair of scissors does the job more easily than a knife). Mix the
fruits in a bowl and add brandy and sherry. Cover tightly and leave
overnight or longer.
Prepare one deep 23 cm square cake tin (or, for one cake to keep and
one to give, one 20 cm square tin and one 15 cm square). Grease the
interior of the tin(s) with butter. Line with two layers of brown
paper cut to fit and to project above the sides of the tin by about 5
Inside the brown paper, fit a layer of grease proof paper, projecting
similarly. Butter the inside of the grease proof. Pit and chop the
prunes. Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the eggs, one at a
time, mixing each in thoroughly. Add prunes.
Sift flours together and add the butter-sugar mixture alternately
with the fruit. Add the essence and coffee.
Put the mixture into the prepared tins(s). Dip one hand in cold
water and pat the surface of the cake flat. (The thin layer of water
keeps the surface moist for a long time and lessens the chance of the
cake rising in the middle.) Bake in a preheated 150C oven for 1 hour,
then reduce the heat to 135C and cook for a further 2 1/4 hours.
Take the cake from the oven and fold the extra paper layers over the
top of the cake, tin and all, while still hot in at least 4 layers of
newspaper. Place on a rack and leave overnight. (This process keeps
the cake moist and prevents it cracking on top while it cools.) In
the morning, remove from the tin, peel off the paper and store the
cakes(s) in an airtight tin.
From "Raw Materials" by Meryl Constance, Sydney Morning Herald,
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; February 18 1993.