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CHRISTMAS CAKE

 

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!!

 

FRUIT

 

375g raisins

375g sultanas

125g mixed peel

125g glace cherries

 

60g dates

60g pitted prunes

3Tbs brandy or rum

3Tbs sherry

 

CAKE MIXTURE

250g butter

¾ cup brown sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 Tbs golden syrup

2 Tbs marmalade

5 eggs

2 ½ cups of plain flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

60g blanched almonds

Extra almonds

Extra brandy

 

Method

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.