Blueberry, Cranberry, Chocolate & Port Christmas Cake

It’s a Christmas Cake, but not as you know it…. photo coming later once I’ve decorated it.  I still need to feed it up before I do that.  However, you might want the recipe now so that you can make it in time to leave it to mature for a bit.  

This is the most decadent Christmas Cake ever, but also packed with superfoods.  I love a bit of Christmas cake in January, a lovely treat with a cup of tea following the come down of the festive season.  This cake is so rich and moist with a massive depth of flavour.  It’s not a budget cake, but it is definitely worthy of the most special of occasions.  You only need a little piece, so providing you can hide it away, it will keep and last a long time.

Cranberry, Blueberry, Chocolate & Port Christmas Cake
A wonderfully rich and decadent variation of a Christmas cake. Even people who don't normally like fruit cake will love this.
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Ingredients
  1. 300 g pitted and chopped dates
  2. 125 g goji berries
  3. 125 g dried cranberries
  4. 125 g dried blueberries
  5. 400 g raisins
  6. 1 1⁄4 cups port and more to feed the cake in the weeks leading up to christmas
  7. 250 g butter
  8. 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  9. 1 cup brown sugar
  10. 4 eggs
  11. 1 orange, juice and zest
  12. 1⁄3 cup treacle
  13. 1 1⁄2 cups plain flour
  14. 1⁄2 cup self-raising flour
  15. 1 tsp mixed spice
  16. 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  17. 200 g 80% cocoa chocolate, chopped
  18. 150 g walnuts, chopped
  19. 50 g mixed nuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine dried fruit with 1 cup of the port in a large bowl and mix well. Leave to soak for at least 2 hours, I leave it over night. It smells divine!
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 C°
  3. Add the orange and treacle to the fruit and port and stir. I usually put the whole orange in the NutriBullet and whizz it all up and this works just as well.
  4. Put the chopped chocolate and nuts into a separate bowl and add the flours and spices and toss to coat and combine.
  5. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until it is light and fluffy and all the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time, don't worry if it curdles a little.
  7. Add the creamed mixture to the fruit and stir well.
  8. Add the flour mixture to this and mix in until just combined.
  9. Grease and flour a 9 inch cake tin with a removable bottom.
  10. Tip the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top of the cake.
  11. Wrap a double thickness of brown paper around the tin so that the height of the brown paper is about 2 inches taller than the height of the tin and tie it around with a string.
  12. Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 3 hours, or until a skewer comes out clean. The house will smell absolutely gorgeous and willpower will be required not to eat it straight away!
  13. Pour the remaining port over the hot cake and watch it sink in.
  14. Cover and leave to cool in the tin over night.
  15. Wrap the cake well and store the cake in an air tight tin in a cool dry place.
  16. You can feed the cake each week leading up to Christmas with a bit more port.
  17. I'm going to decorate mine with caramalised pecan nuts nearer to Christmas.
This Week In The Garden http://www.thisweekinthegarden.co.uk/

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