I spent most of Christmas this year sitting in a chair, while my limbs remembered what it was like to not be on the move all the time. As I’m living with my grandmother, whose house is the traditional venue for the Christmas feasting, I ended up doing far more of the Christmas tasks than I usually do this year, the ham, the cake, the pudding, the mince pies, the blinis, the trifle, the sauces and the brandy butter. While the ham in coca cola was, frankly, a triumph, I think the Creole Christmas cake was a credible success as well, given that several self-confessed Christmas Cake haters admitted to enjoying this cake. Possibly something to do with the week’s worth of soaking in four different types of alcohol. That and the fact it’s Delia’s recipe, of course.

Creole Christmas cake

To soak

3 tbpns rum
3 tbspns brandy
3 tbspns port
1.5 tspns Angostura bitters
.5 tspn ground cinnamon
.5 tspn ground nutmeg
.5 tspn ground cloves
.5 tspn salt
1.5 tspns vanilla extract
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 oz glace cherries, chopped up
1 level tablespoon molasses sugar
1 lb raisins
4 oz pitted prunes, chopped up
8 oz currants

9 oz self-raising flour
9 oz demerara sugar
9 oz butter, at room temp
5 large eggs

Soak all the pre-soak ingredients for one week before you want to make the cake. Store in a airtight container, in the fridge. When you’re ready to make the cake, sift the flour with the sugar and beat in the sugar, then the eggs. Then add the dried fruit mixture and mix thoroughly Place into a lined baking tin about 9 inches across and bake at gas mark one for three hours without opening the door. After the three hours have passed, over the top with a layer of baking parchment and bake for another hour. Cool and wrap in baking parchment. If you leave it for up to a month, it apparently improves, but if you are as time strapped as me, eating it the next day or two will be fine.