The night before Christmas cake

I love Christmas cake but I am also never organised enough to make it well in advance. Like the name of this one implies, this can be eaten the next day. A week or two soaking in the sherry would be nice though.

This recipe is adapted from the Australian Women’s weekly “Traditional Christmas” booklet.

Line a 22cm round or 20 cm square cake tin with baking paper and several layers of brown paper.
Preheat oven to 140 C or 120 C fan forced.

In a saucepan, combine:

475 g jar fruit mince
750 g dried mixed fruit
125mL sweet sherry (or whisky or rum)

Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes, place in a large bowl. Allow to cool 30 minutes.

Stir into the fruit mix:

250gm melted cooled butter
1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar

Mix til combined, then stir in

4 eggs beaten lightly

mix again, then stir in

2 cups plain flour
1 cup SR flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice

Mix til combined, then spread evenly in tin.

Optional: decorate top of cake with:
blanched whole almonds
whole pecans
macadamias
walnuts

Bake, uncovered, for 3 1/2 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Brush the cake with another:

60mL of sherry, whisky, or rum.

Then cover the hot cake with foil, wrap in a towel, then allow to cool overnight in the tin.

If you are the organised type, this cake can be made three months ahead. Brush with sherry, whisky or rum at fortnightly intervals to keep moist and build flavour.

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