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Brandy In Traditional Christmas Cake

Asked by JohnMac72. Answered on 22nd November 2020

Full question

I am making the Christmas Cake from the recipe in Nigella Christmas. The recipe says "Sift the dry ingredients together, then mix the soaked fruit etc." Does this also mean that you should mix in the brandy that you have soaked the fruit in? Many thanks!

NIGELLA CHRISTMAS UK book cover
Traditional Christmas Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Traditional Christmas Cake (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) is a rich fruit cake that can be made several weeks in advance and then "matured" until closer to Christmas. The dried fruits are put into a saucepan with brandy (or whisky or rum if that is what you have) and then brought to simmering point. The mixture is then left to cool and macerate overnight so that the fruits plump up, soaking up most of the brandy.

However if there is a bit of brandy left when you come to add the fruits to the cake batter than this should be added to the cake at the same time. There should not be that much liquid, maybe 2-3 tablespoons, and this will not affect the cake batter as a Christmas cake batter is quite thick anyway. Once the cake has cooled and is wrapped and stored, you can feed it weekly with 1-2 tablespoons of extra brandy.

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