Steelworker Director shares his grandma’s Christmas Cake recipe

Hi, Marty Warren here. I’m happy to share my Grandmother’s Christmas Cake recipe with my Steelworker family. This is for people who want to create the real deal Christmas Cake! The recipe below is written by my momma with love to her mother.

Clare (Sholea) Blimkie
Revised edition Nov 10,11 2006

9 Cups seeded raisins (no seeds)
6 Cups sultana raisins
3 Cups of currants
3 3/4 Cups of chopped “mixed peel”(Available at Bulk Barn)
Approx. 2 TBSP chopped orange rind(Available at Bulk Barn)
Approx. 2 TBSP chopped lemon rind (Available at Bulk Barn)
*1 or 2 Cups of candied cherries, red & green (Available at Bulk Barn) optional
*2 Cups chopped walnuts optional
*1 250ml Kraft Strawberry jam (NOT raspberry due to seeds) optional –but you’ll be sorry if you don’t add it because it was Clare’s secret ingredient-(Clare’s jam was homemade of course)
1 pound of butter
2 7/8 Cups of brown sugar (you may as well just add three cups)
1 Cup sweet molasses-(or 1 Cup of Juice…or 1/2 Cup of sweet molasses with 1/2 cup of juice…….you can use pure grape or orange juice). I use the 1 cup sweet molasses.
12 egg yolks (keep reading you will eventually need the whites)
4 Cups sifted Purity flour (all purpose flour also available at Bulk Barn)
4 Teaspoons cinnamon
4 Teaspoons allspice
1 1/2 Teaspoons mace
2 Teaspoons grated nutmeg (or powdered)
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup grape juice (or any desired fruit juice). I use 1 cup orange juice.
4 squares of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate, melted---but not melted in the microwave
1 TBSP hot water
12 egg whites

Now that you’ve assembled all the ingredients (a quick trip to Bulk Barn and you’re ready—no chopping, cutting or dicing for days prior to baking) you can begin to bake. NOTE: Bulk Barn sells already made Christmas cake for those who are not cut from the same cloth as our beloved Clare Blimkie.

Suggestions Prior to Baking:
-assemble a cooking crew of 5-7 close relatives/friends hopefully some with baking experience (I don’t know how Clare did it herself with all those bratty kids underfoot and only Pat to help her mix the ingredients)
-say a quick prayer to thank Clare for all the delicious Christmas cake she made over the years and to acknowledge her efforts and hard work (no Bulk Barn back then!)
-grab a bottle of your favourite Holiday drink…you may want a sip while the cake is baking

To begin rinse all the raisins and currants under some water and pat dry (to the beat of your favourite Christmas tune). Then you need to unstick any raisins that may have become clumped together – or just eat the clumps like Auntie Melba.
Measure out 1/2 cup from the 4 Cups of flour required for this recipe and use it to keep the raisins from sticking (by adding it to the raisins) when you mix the raisins and currants. Combine (in the following order) the fruit blend: raisins, currants, mixed peel, lemon and orange rind. Then add in the strawberry jam and the optional candied cherries and walnuts. Set Aside.

Cream the butter (using a mixer) until soft then gradually add in the brown sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, then add the molasses and beat again.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks… DO NOT get any yolks in the whites. Beat the yolks until they are thick and pale yellow in colour then gradually add the beaten yolks to the butter/sugar/molasses mixture—beating thoroughly. This mixture will now be referred to as the “delicious batter” *Clare used a rotary beater which is an old time hand beater to mix this

Mix together the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour, spices and baking soda – then sift 2 or 3 times. That’s right ladies buy yourselves a sifter!!

Combine the 1 cup of fruit juice with the melted chocolate and hot water. This mixture will now be referred to as the “wet ingredients”
*melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stove and you’ll have your hot water

To the “delicious batter” add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with “wet ingredients”, making 3 or 4 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Stir gently and quickly until well blended, but do not over-mix. Fold in the fruit blend mixture.
Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold quickly into the batter with a spatula.
Tadaaa!!!!!! The cake is ready for baking.

Preheat oven to 300° F

Line deep cake pans with 2 or 3 thicknesses of Reynolds Parchment paper … not wax!
Grease the outer paper using Crisco lard-don’t be chintzy on the greasing!!
Carefully spread batter in pans, filling pans 2/3 full. Bake approximately 3 hours----just don’t leave the kitchen while it’s cooking and test with a toothpick to see if it’s done. If you smell smoke…it’s done! ***Don’t forget to put a tin of water in the oven while baking-something to do with moisture and the cake***
Allow the baked cakes to “set” for 30-40 minutes before removing from pans. Remove paper and cool thoroughly. Cover with icing multiple times until cake is finished.

CAKE ICING (OPTIONAL)

Butter, icing sugar, milk, almond extract.

Start with about 1/2 cup butter, add icing sugar until stiff, add small amount of milk to make spreadable & few drops almond extract to taste. Add or take away ingredients as needed for size of cake/cakes.

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