Sri Lankan Recipes » Sweets & Desserts » Sri Lankan Christmas Cake

Ingredients

  • 50g (2 oz) candied peel
  • 100g (3.5oz) chow (without syrup)
  • 100g (3.5oz) stem ginger (without syrup)
  • 100g (3.5oz) raisins
  • 300g (10oz) sultanas
  • 125g (4oz) currants
  • 225g (8oz) candied ash pumpkin or crystalised pineapple
  • 225g (8oz) cashew nuts chopped
  • 50g (2oz) almonds chopped
  • 100g (3.5oz) glacé cherries
  • 3 tblsp brandy
  • 3 tblsp rose water triple strength
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • 1 tblsp vanilla
  • 1/2 a nutmeg grated
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoonful ground cloves
  • 225g (8oz) semolina
  • 225g (8 oz) butter at room temperature
  • 12 size 2 eggs
  • 400g (14 oz) soft brown sugar

Method

  1. Finely chop the fruit and the nuts (the first 10 ingredients).
  2. Put into a bowl together with the honey and essences (the brandy, rose water, vanila) and the spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves).
  3. Mix thoroughly and leave covered for 24 hours.
  4. Double line 2 cake tins of diameter 20 cm (8) with lightly- oiled greaseproof paper. Put the oven on to 140oC (275oF)
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the semolina and the butter.
  6. Separate the eggs.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar until pale.
  8. Mix in the semolina.
  9. Add the fruit, a little at a time using a cutting motion, to make sure that the cake batter is thoroughly mixed in with the dried fruit.
  10. This movement provides a lot of wrist exercise!
  11. Whisk half the egg whites until stiff. (The rest can be used for meringues.)
  12. Add 4 tablespoonsful of the egg whites and beat into cake mixture to slacken it.
  13. Fold the rest of the beaten egg whites and mix thoroughly.
  14. Put the cake mixture into the two tins and cook for about 1½ hours, or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean.
  15. Cool the cake on a wire rack. Once cold prick the surfaces with a skewer and pour two tablespoonsful of brandy over each cake.
  16. Cover with foil, place in an airtight tin and leave for a week before icing.