Our Ruby Christmas Cake: Soaking the fruit

November 5, 2018

It got more than a little festive in our kitchen this morning, with Christmas songs playing, and the smell of citrus and cinnamon in the air.

One of my favourite traditions, with a few weeks until December it’s time to get our Christmas Cake started.

Rather than months, my favourite recipe takes around six weeks from start to finish, perfect for if you were thinking you’d missed the boat this year. As I’m starting today, our cake will be ready to ice the 17th December. Ideally timed to enjoy in the run up to Christmas Day.

I call it my Ruby cake as I opt for extra red fruit in my mix, and as I’m not keen on it, I omit the citrus peel traditional recipes include. I’m also soaking the fruit in Chambord Raspberry liquor, rather than brandy or whisky, so it will be rich and full of flavour.

Ingredients for soaking the fruit

1 large orange (Juice & zest needed)
50g Caster sugar
A cinnamon stick
175ml Chambord liquor

400g Sultanas
250g Dried Cranberries
140g Dried Cherries
100g Glace Cherries (Halved)

Quick and easy, this part couldn’t be simpler. To make your syrup mix, pop your caster sugar, the cinnamon stick, and the juice of your orange in a pan (Around 50ml needed) and heat gently. Just until the sugar is dissolved, be careful it doesn’t reach boiling point.

Once dissolved take your pan off the heat, pour in your Chambord liquor, and set aside to cool.

Using an airtight container, simply tip in and mix together your dried fruit, along with your orange zest.

To finish, pour in your slightly cooled syrup mix, and combine with your dried fruit. Give it a good mix, making sure every piece of fruit is well coated. This is a great part to let little hands help you with, making sure every member of the family can get involved!

I leave my fruit to soak for three weeks, keeping it in a cool cupboard, giving it a gentle shake every morning and evening. I find this is easier and takes seconds. It may be a little lazy, but it saves the faff of finding and washing up a spoon twice a day, and I’m pretty sure it has much the same effect.

Just a few short weeks and it’ll be time to bake the cake!

Post written in collaboration with Chambord, all words and opinions are my own.