Traditional Christmas Cake and Fruit Pudding

I awoke this morning to the thought “I must give Kat Oxley the Christmas cake and Pudding recipes I promised her months ago, and it will be my blog for Friday 16th.”
I awoke fully and thought, “I can’t blog that” then thought, “Of course I can.”

Some might say I am months too early, but in reality I am not.
These recipes have ingredients that may be unusual or difficult to get and I may have to supply more information or even supply some of them; for the more adventurous cooks brave enough to take up the challenge. The cake and pudding can be made up to 6 – 8 weeks ahead as long as brandy or whiskey, are used in the mixture. The alcohol gives the finished cakes their long storage life and very rich flavor.

The reason I offered Kat these recipes in the first place is because these types of celebration cakes are not typical Christmas fair everywhere in America, or so Kat and Evilynne told me. And the cakes and puddings are so delicious, I wanted to share them.

Traditional Fruitcake



From the brandy-soaked fruit to the touch of spice, this classic Christmas cake has it all.
Serves: 30
Prep: 30 minutes (plus 6 hours macerating & overnight cooling time)
Cooking: 3 ½ hours

Ingredients:

500 gms sultanas (dried grapes)
1x375gm pkt raising, coarsely chopped
3x100gms pkt mixed glace cherries, coarsely chopped
1×300 gm pkt currants
250ml 1cup brandy
Melted butter, to grease
250gm butter, at room temperature
155 gm (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
115gm (1/3 cup) breakfast marmalade
300gm (2 cups) plain flour
75gm (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
1 tspn mixed spice
Blanched almonds, to decorate
80ml (1/3 cup) brandy, extra

Method:

1. Combine the sultanas, raisins, cherries, currants and brandy in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, stirring occasionally, for 6 hours to macerate.

2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with 2 layers of non-stick baking paper to reach 6 cm above the edge of the pan.

3. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined (the mixture may curdle at this stage – this is due to the high proportion of eggs to butter and doesn’t affect the result). Add the marmalade and beat until well combined. Add the combined flour and mixed spice, and fold until just combined. Stir in the sultana mixture. Spoon into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Tap the pan on the bench top to settle the mixture. Arrange the almonds overt the top.

4. Wrap the outside of the pan with 3 layers of brown paper, rising slightly higher than the baking paper. Secure with kitchen string. Bake, covering with tin foil if necessary to prevent over browning, for 3 ½ hours or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

5. Pour the extra brandy over the hot cake. Wrap the pan in a clean tea towel and set aside overnight to cool completely. Serve.


Traditional Plum Pudding


With this custard-coated steamed pudding on your spoon, your Christmas feast is complete.
Serves: 12
Prep: 20 minutes (+ 6 hours macerating and 5 minutes resting time)
Cooking: 4 hours

Ingredients

350 gms raisins, coarsely chopped
300 gms sultanas
1×300 gm pkt currants
185 ml (3/4 cup) rum or brandy
Melted butter, to grease
200 gm butter, at room temperature
200 gm (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
140gm (2 cups) fresh bread crumbs
(made from day-old bread)
115gm (3/4 cup) plain flour
75 gm (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1tsp ground cinnamon
Bought, vanilla custard; warmed, to serve.

Method:

1. Place raisins, sultanas and currants
in a glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in the rum or brandy.
Cover and set aside, stirring every few hours, for 6 hours to macerate.

2. Brush a 2Litre (8 cup) capacity pudding basin with melted butter to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.

3. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the breadcrumbs, combined flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the raisin mixture and stir to combine. Spoon into the prepared basin. Smooth the surface.

4. Place an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a large saucepan. Fill one-third of the saucepan with boiling water. Bring to a simmer over low heat.

5. Cut a 30cm-square piece on non-stick baking paper and a 30cm-square piece of foil. Place the paper on top of the foil and fold to make a wide pleat in the centre. Place over the basin, foil-side up. The double piece of kitchen string under the rim of the basin to secure foil. To make a handle, tie a double piece of string loosely over the top of the basin. Scrunch the paper and foil around the rim so they don’t get wet.

6. Use the handle to lower the basin onto the saucer in the saucepan. Add enough boiling water to reach two-thirds of the way up the side of the basin.

7. Simmer, covered adding more boiling water when necessary, for 4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the of the pudding comes out clean.

8. Set aside for 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve with warm custard.

And after typing this up, I realized why I don’t cook these delectable dishes myself…what an enormous amount of work. I guess if you are an adventurous cook, they will appeal to you. If not, hide these recipes way in back of your recipe file and take them out once in a while and remember where they came from; hopefully with an affectionate smile!

With Love,
Byz 🙂

5 thoughts on “Promised Recipes

  1. Wow! Yum! Wow! 🙂 Actually, I imagine these would be fun if one had a weekend with family or friends to play in the kitchen. Sort of like an extended play date with food. Yay!

  2. Unhinged says:

    Well, they DO look scrumpdelicious, but I’m with you, Byz. It does seem like a lot of work.

    (But you’ve made these in the past?)

    I like your word method in place of directions, which is how recipes are written in the U.S. I think I’ll adopt that word as my own the next time I share recipe.

  3. Byz. says:

    The cake and pudding aren’t at all difficult, just time consuming. Andi, I have made both; once. Admittedly I made them by myself. I think Noony’s idea of getting together with family or friends is a great idea for some fun and closeness.

  4. Yay!!! Yummy unique recipes – I love it!! *hugs*

    I’m definitely going to try at least one of these this year, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks, Eaton!!

  5. Gwen says:

    Never had plum pudding – but I might have to try that one with my Prime Rib and Yorshire pudding. Thanks Eaton!

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