Christmas Cake

Ingredients (for 2 cakes)
– 700 gramms of candied fruit (apricots, cherries, cranberries, ginger)
– 350 gramms of currants (or raisins)
– 1 tin (ca 200 g) of pineapple chunks (without the juice), chop into small pieces
– 150 gramms of chopped almonds pieces (gehackte)
– 300 gramms of wholemeal spelt flour (Vollkorndinkel)
– 150 gramms of ground almonds
– 250 gramms of soft baking margarine
– 5 large eggs /(whisked)
– baking powder
– 100 gramms of brown sugar or beet syrup (Rübensirup)
– juice of 2 lemons
– lemon zest (finely grated peel of 2 lemons

for decoration:
– 100 gramms of whole almonds
– candied cherries

1. Chop or cut the dried fruit into small pieces and place them in a large bowl. Pour a bottle of cheap whiskey (or sherry) into this bowl of dried fruit, press the fruit down (e.g. with a plate) under the surface, and leave for ca 12 hours to soak.

2. Drain the liquid from the dried fruit with a strainer. In a large bowl sieve the spelt flour and the baking powder, mix these and then add the dried fruit. Add the almond pieces, pineapple, margarine, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Mix thoroughly into a smooth mixture. If too wet, add some more flour and ground almonds.

3 Grease 2 cake tins, round or oblong (like for bread), and line the base and sides with a double layer of greaseproof or baking paper.

4. Boiled the whole almonds for 5 minutes, take off the skins and cut into halves. Cut the candied cherries into halves.

5. Pour in the cake mixture into the prepared cake tins till ca 1 cm from the top. Level the surface and decorate the top with the halves of almonds and cherries.

6. Make sure the cakes are fully covered with baking paper and fix the paper on top and at the sides to protect the cakes from direct heat.

7. Bake in the middle of the oven at 150 degrees for 2 hours. Check with a skewer that the cake mixture is baked through.

8. Leave to cool in the tin for about 30 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, the cake can be stored in an airtight tin or box for a few weeks.

Note: This Christmas Cake recipe is also used in Britain for birthday cakes!