Mini Christmas Cakes

I have a recipe for small Christmas cakes that might be useful for some who have left making their cake until a bit late (as I often do).It’s an adaptation of a recipe from a very old cookbook.

They could also be warmed and served as Christmas puddings and/or would make a lovely gift for friends or family.

I used one a a half cup capacity small tins, but just use whatever size you have on hand, adjusting baking time accordingly. Cakes are cooked through when a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Here is the recipe:

MINI CHRISTMAS CAKES

1kg mixed dried fruit

125g dried cranberries

150g glace cherries, halved

150g brown sugar

½ cup water

¾ cup brandy

250g butter, cubed

5 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

220g plain flour

80g self raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch ground cardamom

Grease small (1.5 cup approximately) cake tins and line base with baking paper, grease again.

Place the mixed fruit, cranberries, cherries, butter, sugar, water and brandy is a large saucepan and bring to the boil stirring.

Reduce heat and simmer fruit for 10 minutes (lid on pot), stirring occasionally. Cool.

Stir in the eggs, then orange and lemon rinds.

Add the sifted flours, spices and bicarbonate of soda and fold in until well combined.

Spoon into the prepared tins to two thirds full.Bake for 45 minutes to one hour until a metal skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool in tins 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Brush all over with brandy, then leave to air dry and cool.

Next day brush over with brandy again and leave to air dry.

Wrap in baking paper (optional if using within the next few days), then in foil or cellophane paper.

(Just for the record – they will keep for at least two weeks.)

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