I love my Mum's Christmas cake.
Mostly because it is not so much a cake, rather a great big pile of nuts and fruit that is held together with the merest smidge of cake batter. Buttery pecans snuggle next to juicy chunks of ginger, macadamias slide alongside sweet apricots and toasted almonds make the perfect partner to rich dates.
This cake is always better the longer it rests, so I like to make mine RIGHT ABOUT NOW!
I bake it, then wrap and let it sit in the fridge for a couple weeks before I allow myself the first slice.
It's extremely rich so a thin slice is all you need with a hot cup of coffee for the perfect after dinner indulgence, and it lasts forever. You can seriously impress mother-in-laws and school principals with this baby!
I make mine in a large ceramic Lasagne tray... I know that isn't traditional but I don't have a tin large enough and I'm not going to buy one for a once a year cook-off.
Here's the recipe. If you decide to give it a whirl, don't get too hung up on quantities. 650g nuts is fine, a few extra dates or apricots won't hurt. The original recipe has no ginger but I think everything tastes better with ginger so I add it in. You can use whatever nuts you like... this year I added cooking pistachios and didn't have walnuts.
It's still BLOODY AWESOME !
Mums Nutty Christmas Cake
Heat oven to 300 degrees F ( slightly lower if fan forced). Line an 8" square tin (or your lasagne dish LOL) with several layers of baking paper.
Get a LARGE bowl. I mean LARGE okay ?
Place in 750g mixed nuts (pecan, macadamia, almond, brazil, walnut...)
250g roughly chopped dates, 180g chopped dried apricots, 250g glace' cherries (and a handful of chopped crystalized ginger :-)
Over the tops of nuts and fruit sift 1/2 cup sugar and 3/4 cup SR flour.
In a separate bowl whisk 3 eggs til fluffy, and add 1 tablespoon of sherry (or fruit juice if you don't have sherry).
Pour eggs mixture over the nuts and flour and gently tumble mix until all dry ingredients are damp and 'cake-batter-ish'.
At this point you will probably look in the bowl and think there is nowhere near enough batter for this to work... trust me! The batter is basically just the glue between nuts and fruit. You have enough.
Press firmly into the prepared tin.
Bake for 1 hr 30 mins, reducing heat slightly in last half hr to prevent burning.
Cool in tin then remove from tin and wrap in foil. Refrigerate for at least 3 days before cutting.
What do you bake each year for Christmas?
( This recipe has been handwritten in my Mum's cookbook folder for years. If it is the same or similar to one you have created, or have seen published please don't be nasty, just gently tell me where credit should be given. I haven't 'stolen the recipe', I just only know it as Mums Nutty Christmas Cake. )