Three-ingredient Christmas Cake

A surprisingly simple recipe for a classic fruity Christmas cake, from the Three Ingredient Baking cookbook by Sarah Rainey.

From the book

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Introduction

Rich, spiced and packed full of juicy raisins, cherries and peel, it’s hard to beat a proper fruit cake at Christmas. My take on this festive classic is super-simple, using chocolate-flavoured milk to create that heady sponge, laden with plump, bursting fruits.

Serves 12
Easy

Ingredients

530g mixed dried fruit (I use one containing peel, glacé cherries, sultanas, raisins and cranberries)
500ml chocolate milk
175g self-raising flour

Essential kit

You will need: a medium round cake tin (23cm across).

Instructions

Start preparing this cake at least 12 hours before you want to eat it.

Put the dried fruit and chocolate milk in a bowl, cover in cling film and leave them for as long as possible so the fruits absorb the liquid and become plump and juicy. You’ll know it’s ready when the milk thickens and the fruit swells to the top of the liquid.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan, and grease and line the cake tin.

When the fruit is ready, sift in the flour and stir until fully combined. Pour into the tin, bang it on a table a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles, and smooth out the top using a palette knife.

Bake for around 2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack. This won’t keep as long as traditional Christmas cake, but it will last a couple of weeks in a sealed tin. It tastes great with a dollop of brandy cream.

Tip: Try other flavours of milk (such as coffee or banana), or orange juice to give a lighter sponge. And if you miss that layer of white fondant on top, sift icing sugar over some Christmassy stencils – stars, snowflakes or trees – for a snowy finish.

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