Canberra Christmas Cracker
This is a new way to present a rich fruit cake. Use a large loaf pan.
Cream 1 1/4 cups butter, 1 1/4 cups moist brown sugar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 tablespoon honey, and the grated rind of 1 lemon. Gradually beat in 6 large eggs mixed with 1/3 cup brandy or sherry. Stir in 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon each grated nutmeg, mixed spice and ground cinnamon. Add 3/4 lb. seedless white raisins, 1 1/4 lb. currants, 1/2 lb. seedless raisins, 2/3 cup chopped prunes, 2/3 cup chopped dates, 2/3 cup chopped candied peel, 1 1/2 cups chopped blanched almonds and 1/2 cup halved candied cherries. Line the loaf pan with wax paper, put in the mixture, stand on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour in the center of a 275-300°F. oven for 1 hour, then lower the heat to 250-275°F. for afurther 3 hours until the cake no longer ‘hums’ when tested. Cool in the pan.
Make almond paste with 3 cups ground almonds, 1 1/3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 3/4 cup sugar, few drops almond extract, and 3 egg yolks, Color a quarter a bright color.
Trim the loaf-shaped cake to make a more rounded shape. Brush the cake with egg white or apricot jame and wrap in the plain almond paste; make sure this is very neat. Decorate with colored almond paste, ribbon or gay paper as the picture.
Serves about 30.
Printed in Canada. ©Copyright The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. 1972