Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
I'm not a huge fan of Christmas cake but this is one I have made every year since I found it in 1981 in Chatelaine magazine. This is my modification of the original. Allow the fruit to marinate the full week for maximum impact! As with all Christmas fruitcakes, make and freeze this at least one month ahead!
- 1⁄2 cup mixed peel
- 1 cup candied red cherries, halved
- 1 cup dark raisin
- 3⁄4 cup dark rum
- 1⁄2 cup blanched almond, lightly toasted and chopped in half
- 1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, if they are already blanched then toast them lightly and chop them in half, if they still have skin
- 3⁄4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract, maple extract is good too
- 6 -8 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄3 cup rum, for brushing
- In a Ziploc bag mix together mixed peel, candied cherries, raisins and rum. Seal bag and leave on countertop for a full week (7 days!). Turn the bag daily to ensure fruit marinates evenly.
- To remove skin from hazelnuts: place in a baking sheet in 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Rub with fingers or paper towel and skin will slide off easily. Chop them in half.
- Mix together almond and hazelnuts, set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Cream together butter and sugar.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Stir in vanilla and maple extracts and melted chocolate.
- Add sifted flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
- Fold in the fruit and any liquid remaining (should have almost all been absorbed!) as well as the nuts.
- Distribute evenly between two small to medium greased and floured loaf pans.
- Bake for 45 minutes then test for doneness. If not done continue baking as long as necessary checking after 5 to 10 minute intervals but do not over cook or cake will be dry.
- Cool completely in baking pans. Remove and brush with extra rum.
- Seal in foil or freezer wrap and freeze until Christmas.
- Thaw completely to room temperature before slicing and serving.