Try this beautiful Fruit Cake this Christmas and celebrate it the Australian way, with the addition of the exquisite scent of lemon myrtle. You can substitute lemon myrtle with any flavour tea if you like. In this recipe, I will explain how to best extract the aroma and flavour of the lemon myrtle from its leaves.
I have to admit, I had not started making Fruit Cake until my adult years where I started to celebrate Christmas with my husband, who grew up with the tradition of having Christmas pudding and a Rich Boiled Christmas Cake smothered in Brandy. If you have ever spent Christmas in Australia, you would know it is the hottest time of the year here. Hot foods are not a wise choice for Christmas lunch, and the idea of consuming Christmas pudding in 40-degree heat, laden with lashings of brandy and sugar leaves me with heat exhaustion! So, have compromised with a lighter fruit cake recipe and a cake that I feel is more suitable for our climate.
Feel free to douse with brandy after baking whilst storing for the special day. I find the quantity of brandy inside the cake is just right and makes it more family-friendly. You can, by all means, omit the brandy altogether, and substitute with freshly squeezed orange juice or extra lemon myrtle tea.
This recipe makes one small Christmas cake, the exact size is as pictured. It also has a small amount of butter and only a quarter of a cup of honey. No other added sugars are used in this cake.
- 150g unsalted butter
- 1 kilo mixed dried fruit
- 180 ml brandy ( optional )
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves ( freshly ground )
- 50g almond meal
- 50 almonds whole
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 200g Flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Lemon Myrtle Tea
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lemon myrtle leaves ( apx 40 freshly cut leaves )
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup milk almond, dairy or soya
Crush the leaves and place in a saucespan with the water and honey. Allow to boil gently for 5 minutes. Strain and discard leaves. Ensure you have 3/4 cup liquid. This is the best way, to obtain the essence of the leaves.
Add the butte, cinnamon and cloves to the hot liquid and stir gently until the butter has melted. Turn off the heat, and add the mixed dried fruit and the almonds.
Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes. Add the almond meal to the cake batter.
Beat the eggs and milk together. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb together.
Stir through the remainder of the ingredients.
Line your deep cake tin with two layers of baking paper.
Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees. Add a cup of water to the back of the oven. This will keep the top from cracking.
Place into baking tin, press down, to ensure there are no air pockets.
Decorate with flaked almonds,pepitas & sesame seeds . This is optional.
Bake for 50 minutes Leave in the oven to cool down. Remove from the tin when the cake is cooled completely.
After a couple of days, you can add brandy if you like the traditional style Christmas Cake. The essense of the lemon myrtle will be lost in the brandy.
If you don't have fresh lemon myrtle leaves, you can use the dried leaves but double your quantity.
Alternatively use 2 lemon myrtle tea bags. Its a large cake, so you need plenty of leaves.
Instead of the brandy make 180ml extra tea with a little extra honey or freshly squeezed orange juice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 313Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 6gSugar: 33gProtein: 4g