May Adams' Christmas Cake

This is a rich christmas cake from my Grandmother, May Adams and passed down by my mother Jean Poole. It was always a favourite in our home for Christmas and birthdays. It has been adapted by me to use metric volume measurements.
450ml flour
5ml baking soda
225ml sugar
227g butter
4 eggs
365 ml suntanas
365 ml currants
356ml seeded raisins
7.5ml fig jam (optional)
10ml nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice (i.e., 2 tsp of each)
5ml vanilla, almond and lemon essence (1tsp of each)
112ml almonds and glace cherries (optional)
127ml mixed peel
25ml brandy (half wine glass)

Bake: 3.5 hours at 275F.

Prepare fruit (mix together). Sift some flour onto fruit.
Sift flour, spices and baking soda 3 times.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at at time and beat after each.
Add essences and jam, mix and beat.
Fold in (with wooden spoon) flour and fruit alternatively (begin and end with flour).
Fold in brandy.

Prepare 8" round x 2.75" deep tin, buttered, and lined with 2 layers of brown paper in bottom and 1 layer on sides.
Put batter in tin with sides higher than centre.
Decorate with split almonds.
Bake. Test with skewer (don't open oven door).
Be gentle.

When out: sprinkle wine glass (50ml) of brandy on top.
Wrap tin in towel. Leave till next morning.
When cold, store in airtight tin (approximately 1 month).

© 1999, David Poole