For many people around the world, today, January 7th, is Christmas Day. In our home, our main Christmas celebration is on 25th December but, as my husband comes from a Coptic Church background, we usually have a small acknowledgement of Christmas on January 7th as well. I find it very handy having a second round of Christmas because it means that, if something didn’t get done in time for the first Christmas, it can be done in time for the second. A case in point, is the Christmas Cake which I finally made yesterday. In keeping with our double act, untraditional Christmas season, my Christmas cake isn’t a traditional Christmas Cake either. I use a recipe given to me by my aunt, and it was given to her with the title of Golf Cake! I don’t know its original source but it is a very fine cake and superlatively easy to make.
Ingredients for Cake 1kg of mixed fruit (store-bought or home-made), 2 cups of packet/bottled orange juice, 2 cups of self-raising flour, 1 tsp of cinnamon.
Method Soak fruit in orange juice overnight (don’t worry if you soak it longer); mix in flour with cinnamon until just combined; bake in a lined 23cm square cake pan at 180 C deg for about 45 minutes and then reduce temperature to 160 deg and continue baking until cooked. Sometimes that can be another 45 minutes, sometimes less, sometimes more. Occasionally, I need to cover (loosely) the top of the cake with foil to prevent the fruit from scorching. Cool the cake in the tin and when completely cold, remove the cake and store in a container. If you can leave the cake for a few days before cutting, your taste buds will be richly rewarded. The cake freezes well, too.
Sometimes I add some freshly grated lemon or orange peel, some crystalized ginger, some almond or vanilla essence,or a few slivered almonds. Occasionally, I will substitute some of the orange juice with brandy or sherry. It’s a flexible recipe.
And, by the way, we get double dips on New Year too. Once in September and again in January. It’s nice to get second helpings.