This Christmas cake recipe is from the 1930s and was given to my wife by her nan on a hand written piece of paper, it's what she used to cook each Christmas. Matures with age so feed with brandy once a week.
Preheat the oven to 140 C / Fan 120 C / Gas 1. Grease a 22cm (9 in) cake tin and line with baking parchment.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter until it is soft and then add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is lump free.
Once the mixture is smooth, sift in the flour and salt and fold into the mixture. Add the fruit, almonds, spice, treacle and brandy if using. Mix well until thick and well integrated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin then cover the top with baking parchment and tie around the sides with kitchen string.
Bake for 3 hours then remove the paper covering the cake and return to the oven and bake for a further 3 1/2 hours.
This cake should be left to stand in an airtight container for several weeks before icing or cutting. Top up with a small amount of brandy, during this time. When ready to serve, place on a serving plate and slice.