My first real lesson in Xmas cake baking came from the beautiful Hilltown SA CWA ladies in
1994. Hilltown is 11km’s North of Clare. Not only was I given a great recipe and tips on how to bake the cake but step by step how to do a real icing decoration. I recall vividly bringing it
home to Melbourne to share. Not everyone was as suitably impressed as I was, but probably one of those cases of “You had to be there!” Our family stint of real country life, brings back so many fond memories. It was the Mulberry tree in the garden, that set me on a path of jam, pickle and chutney making.
~ Bake it ~ eat it!! Nut allergies? Add 150g extra fruit to the initial stage. Dairy allergies? There is no dairy in this cake!! I got you covered! Note: Any dried fruits comprising 1000g will do the trick.
- 200g dates chopped.
- 600g quality mixed fruit
- 50g chia seeds
- 50g pepitas
- 50g hazelnuts
- 50g walnuts
- 4 Tbsps. Goji berries
- 185g Nuttelex
- ¾ cup of brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Cointreau or Orange juice
- 1/3 cup Brandy or Apple Juice
- 3 Tbsps. Water
- 4 to 5 eggs lightly beaten if large use 4
- 2 tsps. grated orange rind
- 2 tsps. grated lemon rind
- 1 Tbsp. Treacle or golden syrup or molasses
- ¼ cup Gluten free plain Flour sifted
- ¼ cup Gluten free self-raising Flour sifted
- ½ teaspoon Bicarb of Soda sifted
- 1/3 cup glace cherries to decorate and/or blanched almonds or extra walnuts whole soak in water to moisten before applying.
- Cake tins, baking paper and alfoil.
- Warm oven to 150C
- In a large saucepan place all the dried fruits, Nuttelex, sugar, spirits and water. Bring it to the boil make sure to stir as it gets hot. Turn heat down half way, give it a 5-8- minute cook and stir. Now let it cool. I put mine in a cold sink of water to speed it up. You can use it hours later if you need.
- Now get your Cake tins ready while your mixture cools.
- You will need 1 large round cake pan or 2 log tins for the quantity of mixture. Line them with a good cover of baking paper.
- Mixture now cool …the rest is done by hand so save the dishes mix it in the saucepan!
- Add the citrus fruit rinds, treacle or similar, eggs, and gradually the flours, and bicarb. Nut lovers add them and the seeds now. If using hazelnuts toast them for 10 minutes in your already warming oven, then break up or chop. The final mix should be moist not runny. This depends on the dryness of your various ingredients. Feel to dry add another egg a little water. If too moist a bit more self-raising flour or almond meal is great!!
- Spoon into the lined cake tins. Decorate with cherries, nuts.
- Bake for 2 hours. If cake is medium brown its ready. Place on a cake wire cover well immediately with alfoil. (Be careful). Once the cakes are totally cool. Put the alfoil aside remove from tins. Take off the baking paper. Now wrap top and bottom with foil and place in an air tight container.
- You can eat this cake now or in 3 months!! You can cheat and warm it slowly in oven wrapped in foil serve with custard, ice-cream or cream. Pretend its pudding!