Experienced and dedicated home cooks may try to recreate the Royal Christmas Cake. It is surely a labor of love and requires certain ingredients that can often only be found in the United Kingdom.
The original recipe for the Royal Christmas Cake dates back well over 50 years and I have added a few variations of my own based on my own flavor preferences. It appeared in an old Good Housekeeping Cookbook and was sent to me by my good English friend, Jacques.
We normally begin making the Christmas cake from 25 to 60 days before Christmas. IT REQUIRES AGING. I have taken the liberty of dividing this recipe into two sections, to help in the planning process. Part 2 will be published a week after Part 1, but you may want to make sure you can access the “right” ingredients like marzipan and royal icing for Phase 2.
In any event, it is a dense cake with enough icing to raise eyebrows at an American Dental Conference.
Royal Christmas Cake – Part 1
- 1 1/2 lb currants
- 12 ounces raisins
- 1 1/2 lb sultanas
- 9 ounces mixed peel
- 6 ounces glacé cherries
- 6 ounces blanched almonds
- 15 ounces butter recipe calls for margarine
- 15 ounces castor sugar
- 10-12 eggs
- 18 ounces flour
- A pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons mixed spice
- 2 lemons
- A little milk
- Soak the fruit (currants, raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, glacé cherries) in a heavy dose of either whiskey, brandy or sherry. I normally use brandy.
- Do not chop the fruit after soaking, but do chop the blanched almonds into smaller pieces.
- Allow butter to come to room temperature. Cream with sugar till soft and light.
- Break the eggs separately into a basin, beat lightly and add one by one to creamed mixture.
- Beat each egg in very thoroughly before adding next. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
- Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl, add fruit and grated lemon rind. Fold gradually into mixture.
- Continue to mix in dry ingredients lightly, with a squeeze of lemon juice and a little milk.
- The mixture should finally be of a stiff dropping consistency; put into a lined 9-inch cake pan.
- Bake the cake for the first two hours at 350º and at 300º F for the last two hours. Make sure to cover loosely to prevent top from browning too quickly.
- Remove papers and after 20 to 30 minutes turn out to cool on a rack.
- Store the cake in a darkened cabinet (not the fridge) wrapped in tin foil. I suggest wrapping the cake in cheesecloth soaked in brandy before placing it in the foil.