Loraine and dog

Loraine's Sri Lankan Christmas Cake

We love two things more than anything else at Tell Tale Travel – cakes and cashews – and this recipe combines both. Get started in October, so you can feed the cake every week with brandy. Sooner you start the merrier your Christmas will be.

This is our friend Loraine's recipe (pictured here with her lovely dog) and you can meet her on our Wildlife & Culture trip, or our family adventure Forts and Monkeys.

  • 1lb each of semolina, butter, raisins and sultanas
  • 2oz flour
  • 2lbs soft brown sugar
  • Wine glass each of brandy, rosewater and honey
  • 1/2lb each of ginger preserve, chow chow preserve (or a fruit jam), mixed candied peel, currants and
  • pumpkin preserve (or glacÚ fruits)
  • 25 egg yolks, plus 10 egg whites
  • 200 cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each of powdered cinnamon and cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cloves
  • Half a nutmeg, grated

  1. Mix all the fruit, peel and preserves together with the flour. Set aside.

  2. Beat the sugar and butter together with a wooden spoon until very light and smooth.

  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well as you go.

  4. Mix in the semolina gradually, then add the mixed fruits, cashew nuts and spices.

  5. Then add the brandy, rosewater and honey.

  6. Finally, beat the egg whites to a stiff froth and fold in.

You'll need a very large cake tin, lined with multiple layers of greaseproof paper (as many as six on the bottom) to prevent burning during the 4-5 hour cooking time (at 180░C). When the cake begins to brown, cover the top with a double fold of paper. Use a metal skewer to periodically test if the cake is ready.

When the cake has cooled, store it in an airtight container and feed it with brandy as often as you like/dare. Cover with marzipan (make it with cashews) and dust with icing sugar to serve.

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