Christmas Cake as we know and love it today came from two Christian feast days, the twelfth night and Easter. The rich sixteenth century families would make their Christmas puddings for the day and they would often use some of the mixture, with the addition of flour and eggs to bake and eat for Easter time. These families would have been very rich and the cake was liked so much it was made for Christmas time too.
My Christmas cake uses a lot of dried fruit and in the past dried fruit has been given a bad reputation. I completely agree that when eaten too often they could be bad for you, but as part of a healthy diet the occasional slice of Christmas cake, I think, isn’t going to kill you. Dried fruit is fruit that has had almost all of the water content removed through drying methods. The fruit shrink during the drying process, leaving a small, energy-dense dried fruit.
Dried fruit when eaten occasionally is high nutritious. One piece contains about the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit. It’s still fruit but condensed in a much smaller package by weight. Dried Fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fibre, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, one serving can provide a large percentage of the daily recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals.
However, there are some exceptions, for example, the vitamin C content reduces when the when the fruit is dried. Generally though, dried fruit contain a lot of fibre and is a great source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. All of these have numerous health benefits.
- Large bowls x 2
- Mixing spoons x 2
- Stirring spoon
- Measuring jug
- Spring base cake tin
- Grease proof paper
- Dried fruit x 300g
- Mixed peel x 300g
- Medjool dates x 10 – 12
- Brandy x 6 tbsps (optional)
- Orange x 1 juice and zest
- Brown rice flour x 150g
- Ground almonds x 150g
- Gluten free porridge oats x 150g
- Ginger x 2 tsp
- Cinnamon x 1 tsp
- Cloves x 1/4 tsp
- Nutmeg x 1/4 tsp
- Baking powder x 3 tsp
- Oat, brown rice or almond milk x 200mls
- Maple syrup x 150mls
- Chia seeds x 1 tbsp
- Water x 2 tbsp
- Coconut oil x 100g
- Salt x 1/4 tsp
- Mix together the dried fruit, mixed peel, dates, brandy (optional), orange juice and zest.
- Leave to soak in a large bowl for 4 or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 160°.
- Line a cake tin with grease proof paper and then line the outside of the tin with grease proof paper and tie with string.
- Lining the outside stops the cake from burning.
- Mix together the water and chia seeds and set aside for five minutes.
- Meanwhile mix together the brown rice, ground almonds and oats.
- Then add in the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and baking powder.
- Add the milk to the flour, almonds, oats and spices mixture.
- Next add the chia seeds and water to the maple syrup and stir.
- Add this to the milk and flour mixture.
- Fold in the soaked dried fruit to the mixture.
- Once mixed together well, add this to the pre-lined cake tin.
- Put in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes or longer depending on your oven.
- To know whether it’s cooked put a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean it’s cooked.
- Leave to cool, then remove from the cake tin and leave to cool completely before serving.
- Once completely cooled, serve and enjoy with a nice cup of tea.
My Christmas Cake is delicious with or without the brandy as I think the orange juice helps to give it flavour. We had a slice the other day with a cup of tea and throughly enjoyed it. Christmas cake is great because it will keep for a long time. So if you were planning to make a cake this Christmas, this cake can be made in advance and kept for Christmas. If you do make this cake weeks before Christmas, you can feed it brandy once a week for four weeks before eating. As long as you store in an airtight container in a cool. dark place it should be ok for the big day or after. However you decide to eat this cake, as always, please enjoy.