Now I may be committing heresy - but I don't like Christmas Cake - it's just too rich and heavy, but the traditionalist in me dictates that there has to be a 'Christmassy' cake available. So this is a variation; much lighter in texture and taste, but a pretty good substitute. Great warmed up with a dollop of creme fraiche, clotted cream or ice cream, but just as delicious cold with a tipple of port or a good old cuppa (Dorset Tea of course!).
Don't be afraid to have an experiment; I am a bit partial to almonds so this recipe has a glug of Disaronno and flaked almonds on the top, but you could add the liqueur of your choice and top with glace cherries, or mixed nuts or clementine segments etc. With a snow storm of icing sugar to finish it off it certainly looks and tastes the part.
p.s. It's really easy and quick to make too!
225g (8 oz) self-raising flour, sifted
140g (5 oz) butter, softened
140g (5 oz) light brown sugar
85g (3 oz) sultanas
450g (1 lb) mincemeat
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 160 C / gas mark 3, grease and line a 20cm (8 in) round tin.
Put all ingredients (except flaked almonds) into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Turn into prepared tin, sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for approx 1 hour 10 mins (Check with skewer/cocktail stick to ensure it comes away clean).
Leave in tin for about 15 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely - when cold dredge with icing sugar