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I got receipts!

I beat Uncle B about the head and shoulders with an inflated pig’s bladder until he rendered up the recipe. For the cake curious:

The Receipt

8 oz butter
8 oz soft dark brown sugar (ideally muscovado)
1 tablespoon black treacle
Grated peel of 1 lemon
4 medium sized eggs
9oz plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 nutmeg grated
4 oz glace cherries
4 oz ground almonds
2 tablespoon sherry or brandy

The Method (Stavislavski did not know about this)

Cream the softened butter with a wooden spoon. Beat it, in fact. It owed you everything and is very lazy.

Add the sugar and treacle (keep beating – it will work eventually if you force it to). Sieve the flour and spices into the mix, stirring thoroughly. Beat the eggs (S&M time again) then stir into the mix, a little at a time. Add the fruit. If you can’t get mixed fruit, choose your own combination of currants, raisins and sultanas with mixed peel in proportions to taste. Also add grated lemon peel, nutmeg and brandy or sherry at this stage. Also ground almonds.

Stir it all very thoroughly, folding it all in, (an electric mixer will help but a wooden spoon is better – tradition!).

Place the gloppy mixture into an 8″ round cake tin lined with buttered greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Take several thick sheets of brown paper (newspaper works as well) and wrap the tin with it, tying it with string (not nylon string!). Cut a further piece of greaseproof to sit on top of the cake but cut a hole in the middle about 1″ diameter -coin size and shape.

Bake in the middle of an oven at 300 Fahrenheit for 3 1/2-4 hours. After three hours take a look at it. If the mixture is coming way from the sides of the tin, it may be on the way, so turn the oven down a little and pop hem (see Eliza Acton for why ‘hem’ is correct) back in. When the top seems golden brown and the mix is slightly away from the sides you can insert a skewer (if not, a long toothpick). If that comes out without any mix stuck to it, yer cake’s done.

This is important! Leave it to thoroughly cool, then carefully extract from the tin (I like spring loaded cake tins with removable bases). When absolutely cool, wrap in two sheets of greaseproof and silver foil after that. Store in a tin.

A week later, unwrap your cake. Cackle merrily and prick it with a toothpick until it confesses and then feed it with two tablespoons of brandy. My Canadian relatives use whisky, but Canadians, eh?

Repeat weekly. Be certain to drink what is left over from feeding the cake. Icing I don’t do…nor marzipan…

God save King Big Ears!…on second thoughts…maybe you lot were right after all. They say New Hampshire is nice at this time of the year.

Do they make worm pies there?

Henry Kissinger has fallen off the perch at last. Let us congregate here tomorrow for DEAD POOL 173.


Comment from RushBabe
Time: November 30, 2023, 8:27 pm


Comment from Armybrat
Time: December 1, 2023, 12:00 am

This looks just a shade different from my mama’s “fruitcake” recipe. We took turns poking the holes and pouring the bourbon over the cake…we actually used to fight for this “chore”…the pourer got to drink the leftovers…and there were always “leftovers”! We always started this cake in Oct…so y’all be slackers!

Comment from Anonymous
Time: December 1, 2023, 1:17 am

@Uncle Badger — I may actually give this a try! Looks delicious and the recipe reads well. Plus, I have the right springform cake tin.


Is it “…cake tin lined with (buttered greaseproof paper) or (baking parchment)”

or is it “…cake tin lined with buttered (greaseproof paper or baking parchment).”?

edit: My grandmother used apple jack, homemade apple “brandy” she’d make on the back porch by freezing out the water from hard cider. It was heavenly good! And it had to be because otherwise she was a tee-totaling Southern Baptist.

Comment from Durnedyankee?
Time: December 1, 2023, 1:59 am

Where’s the candied fruit bits!?

No no, pay me no mind.
This sounds splendid,

and once I figure out where to get REAL treacle… over here on this side of the pond.


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: December 1, 2023, 2:16 am

Thank you, Stoatie, and Uncle Badger for taking the time to give us the recipe and detailed instructions for your Christmas fruitcake.

@Anonymous—your AppleJack-making grandmother sounds like my kind of Grandma 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 1, 2023, 6:52 pm

Either will do the job, Anon. Just make sure they are well greased because if the cake sticks to the side it’s awfully hard to glue back together again 🙂 And applejack, eh? That sounds gorgeous, I’m sure any alcohol would do the trick. Well… maybe not banana liqueur. Hmm… nor creme de menthe, come to think of it. Yes, best just make it spirits. Though Guinness and other stouts are sometimes used and are said to be good.

Oh, and yes, Armybrat, October would have been better. Christmas puddings were last Sunday but cakes need longer to mature. Still, enough brandy and who cares?

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