* 1lb 2oz/525g currants
* 8oz/ 225g golden raisins/sultanas*
* 8oz / 225g raisins
* 4oz / 110g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
* 6oz / 165 glace cherries, halved
* 10oz/ 300g all purpose or plain flour
* Pinch salt
* ½ level tsp mixed spice **
* ½ level tsp ground cinnamon
* 2 ½ sticks / 300g butter, slightly softened
* 10 oz / 300g soft brown sugar
* Zest of ½ lemon
* 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 3 tbsp brandy, plus extra for feeding


Heat the oven to 300F/150C/Gas 2

* Line a 9 inch cake tin with 2 thicknesses of parchment or greaseproof paper. Tie a double band of brown or newspaper paper around the outside.WHY?
* In a large roomy baking bowl mix the currants, sultanas, raisins, peel and cherries with the flour, salt and spices.
* In another large bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition - do not try to rush this process as the mixture could curdle. If it does curdle simply add a tbsp of flour and mix again, this should bring the mixture back together.
* Carefully fold in half the flour and fruit into the egg and butter mixture, once incorporated repeat with the remaining flour and fruit. Finally add the brandy.
* Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin making sure there are no air pockets. Once filled smooth the surface with a spatula and make a dip in the center.
* Stand the tin on a double layer of newspaper in the lower part of the oven and bake for 4½ hours. If the cake is browning too rapidly, cover the tin with a double layer of greaseproof or parchment paper after 2½ hours. During the cooking time avoid opening the oven door too often as this may cause the cake to collapse.
* Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for an hour, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely. Once cooled prick the surface of the cake with a fine metal skewer and slowly pour over 2 - 3 tbsp brandy. This feeding should be repeated every two weeks up until Christmas. The cake should be stored wrapped in greaseproof or parchment paper in an airtight tin. The Christmas Cake recipe is ready !! Enjoy it !