Mrs Williams (Frances) was a lovely friend and general baby-care, life and cooking guru. Sadly she’s not here any more, the angels are enjoying her cooking now and her and Mr Williams are back together, in heaven. But her recipe book is still here, and it’s almost like being with her when you look at all the handwritten notes ❤️.
I make no apology for the amounts being given in pounds and ounces because a) I understand them better, being an old bugger, and b) I like to keep it true to Mrs Williams.
Frances and David, if you’re reading this – love you always xx
There are inconsistencies but it doesn’t matter!
In a large heavy saucepan or casserole gently heat the fruit, spices, alcohol, treacle, sugar, butter and zest until everything is warm and combined. Leave to cool for half an hour.
Heat the oven to 130-140 deg C or if you have a fan oven that has too much poke (like mine!) set it lower to about 110 deg.
Line the cake tin with a double layer of baking paper and tie a double layer of newspaper around the outside with string, this is to stop the outsides from burning. Then cut a double-layer circle of newspaper or baking paper to cover the top.
Add all the other ingredients to the cooled mixture and combine. Tip into the tin and level it off before putting the circle of paper on top.
Bake for 2hrs or more in the centre of the oven, or until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the centre. Turn out and make some small holes all over with a long skewer. Feed with a bit of brandy.
Store in an airtight tin, well wrapped in baking paper and feed with alcohol weekly until Christmas. I make mine at the end of September/beginning of October so it gets a long time to mature. I wrap it up in baking paper and foil then keep it in a large plastic box in the garage, feeding it once in a while with brandy.
When the time comes, Marzipan and ice the top (or all round as shown) and add decoration of choice. Obviously you will find my decorating skills quite a complex task to follow….. 😉 Anyhow, it’s Christmas, keep it real, no need to sculpt a Nativity out of sugar-craft or whatevs, but do if you want!
Nutrition info for Christmas cake is irrelevant 🙂
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.