Oct 18, 2019 68 sleeps or 1615 hours or 96,911 minutes to go until xmas 
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Christmas Cake
Submitted by Mrs Claus
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Preheat oven to 140C (275F). Line a 20cm (8in) square or 22.5 (9in) round cake tin with double thickness greased greaseproof paper. Tie a double thickness band of brown paper around tin and stand tin on double thickness lined baking sheet. Place dried fruit, cherries and almonds in a large bowl; stir well until mixed. Add orange peel and juice and brandy or sherry; mix well. In another bowl, put flour, spice, ground almonds, sugar, treacle, butter and eggs. Stir all ingredients together using a wooden spoon. Beat until smooth and glossy. Add fruit mixture to cake; stir until evenly mixed. Spoon mixture into prepared tin, level top with back of metal spoon, making a slight depression in centre. Cook in oven for 3¼ -3½ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave cake in tin to cool; turn out, remove paper and place on a cake board. Brush side and top of cake with apricot jam. Knead marzipan, roll out to 0.5cm (¼in) thickness and use to cover top and sides of cake; trim to fit neatly at base. Roll out fondant icing on a lightly sugared surface and use to cover cake; press icing over top and down side of cake. Trim off excess icing at base. Use extra icing to make cake decorations for example holly and bells. Tie a red ribbon around outside of cake. Makes 30 slices

Mixed dried fruit    1.15kg (2¼lb/6¾ cups)
Quartered glace cherries    185g (6oz/¾ cup)
Flaked almonds    90g (3oz/¾ cup)
Finely grated orange peel and juice    1
Brandy or Sherry    125ml (4fl oz/½ cup)
Plain flour    375g (12oz/3 cups)
Ground mixed spice    3 tsp.
Ground almonds    75g (2½ oz/ 2/3 cup)
Butter, softened    280g (9oz/1½ cups)
Soft brown sugar    280g (9oz/1½ cups)
Black treacle (molasses)    6 tsp.
Eggs    5
Apricot jam    9 tsp.
Marzipan    875g (1¾lb)
Ready-to-roll fondant icing    1kg (2lb)
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