I've spent the day with my grandparents, Fran and Alan, sorting out their telecommunications deficits. Alongside getting new cordless phones and a shiny new mobile phone (to replace the moribund baby-blue Cold War-era nokia prototype) we found some time for a cup of tea and slice of cake. Fran's Christmas Cake, to be exact. Not the Chrissy cake she used to make years ago, smothered with nasty almond icing (I realise that most people love that stuff, but personally I'd rather leave it), but a lovely fruity, sherryey number that makes me want to give her a high-five. Here it is - and keep in mind what Fran told me, "give it a good slosh of sherry, soak fruit, then a little more, just in case it's evaporated". Love it. ;)
1. Soak fruit mix, sultanas and cherries in sherry for 2 hours (or overnight, if you're sufficiently organised).
2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius. Beat eggs, add melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add soaked fruit mix and flour and mix until a soft mix - more wet than dry.
3. Pour into 8" square tin, decorate with topping cherries and brush with jam/melted butter.
4. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn down to 125 degrees celcius and continue to bake for a further 2 and a quarter hours (may need to cover with foil during cooking, if starts to get too cooked on top). Stick a skewer through cake, to see if cooked. If not, give it a little longer. YUM!!!! Don't wait until Christmas.