I have been cooking my Christmas cake in the solar oven for years. The cooking time in an Australian summer at my latitude is equivalent to the time it takes in a conventional oven, the house doesn’t heat up and we use free, non-polluting energy. Made with love and no extra packaging!!
125g mixed peel
125g glace cherries
60g pitted prunes
3Tbs brandy or rum
¾ cup brown sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 Tbs golden syrup
2 Tbs marmalade
2 ½ cups of plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
60g blanched almonds
1. Chop fruit into small pieces and soak in sherry and brandy overnight
2. Soften or melt butter in solar oven
3. Beat in the sugar and lemon rind
4. Add golden syrup, marmalade and beat in one egg at a time
5. Add 1 Tbs flour.
6. Add mixed flour, salt and spices alternately with fruit and almonds
7. Spoon mixture into a lined and oiled 20cm square tin.
8. Pat the top smooth with a wet hand.
9. Settle the mixture by letting it drop 20 cm to a flat surface
10. Arrange almond decoratively
11. Place in the solar oven in good sunny spot on a still day by 11 am EST Summer for about 3 – 4 hours, checking orientation.
Note: A traditional way of checking whether a cake is cooked is to put a straw or fork into the middle of the cake, if it comes away clean it is cooked and if it comes away with crumbs the cake needs more cooking.