Mrs Williams' Christmas Cake

Mrs Williams was a dear friend and general baby-care, life and cooking mentor. Sadly she’s not here any more but her recipe book is, and it’s amost like being with her when you look at all the handwritten notes <3

I make no apology for the amounts being given in pounds and ounces because a) I understand them better, being an old bugger meself, and b) I like to keep it true to Mrs Williams. I'm sure you know that fitnat does not encourage general recreational consumption of cake, but there are certain circumstances in which cake is a welcome addition: 1) If you've just run a marathon or completed an Ironman triathlon. 2) If it's Christmas (that means Christmas week itself, not November or anything). Strict? You bet! Care about you fitting into your clothes and being healthy? YOU BET! X

Mrs Williams if you're reading this – still love ya xx
  • Serves
    20
  • Prep
    30 mins
  • Cook
    2 hrs
  • Difficulty
    Easy
For a 12in cake
  • 2lb currants
  • 1lb raisins
  • 1lb sultanas
  • ½lb of mixed peel
  • ¼lb of ground almonds
  • ¼lb of walnuts, crushed (rolling pin or briefly in food processor)
  • grated rind of 2 lemons or oranges
  • 7 free range organic eggs (I put ‘free range organic’ but Mrs Williams would’ve got them straight from the chickens anyway)
  • 1 tablespoon of treacle
  • 1lb butter (not marge, no)
  • 1lb brown sugar
  • 10oz plain flour
  • 10oz self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of ground mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • pinch of bi-carbonate of soda
  • ½ teacup of brandy or sherry
For a 8-9in cake
  • There are inconsistencies but it doesn't matter!
  • 12oz currants
  • 6oz raisins
  • 12oz sultanas
  • 2oz of mixed peel
  • 2oz of ground almonds
  • 2oz of walnuts, crushed (rolling pin or briefly in food processor)
  • grated rind of a lemon or orange
  • 4 free range organic eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of treacle
  • 8oz butter (not marge, no)
  • 8oz brown sugar
  • 6oz plain flour
  • 4oz self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • pinch of bi-carbonate of soda
  • 3-4 tablespoons of brandy or sherry
Instructions
In a large heavy saucepan or casserole gently heat the fruit, spices, alcohol, treacle, sugar, butter and zest until everything is warm and combined. Leave to cool for half an hour.

Heat the oven to 130-140 deg C.

Line the cake tin with a double layer of baking paper and tie a double layer of newspaper around the outside with string.

Add all the other ingredients to the cooled mixture and combine. Tip into the tin and level it off.

Bake for 2hrs in the centre of the oven. Turn out and poke some small holes all over with a long skewer. Feed with brandy.

Store in an airtight tin, well wrapped in baking paper and feed with alcohol weekly until Christmas.

When the time comes, Marzipan and ice the top (or all round as shown) and add decoration of choice.
Nutrition info
It's fattening. Go for a run.

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One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. 
Andy Rooney
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