Every year my mother would make her Christmas cake, and behind her back every year my father would throw in probably about half a bottle of Guinness into the fruit while it was left to soak in the whiskey, and every year mother would say I swear this cake is getting darker; and the owlboy as we would call him would say yes it's hard to bet the black stuff; and mother never cop. so folks the Guinness is by choice but adds great flavour to your cake. But it's hard to bet the black stuff so enjoy and hope you like :*)
Preheat your oven to 140 c. DON'T FORGET TO SOAK THE FRUIT THE NIGHT BEFORE FOR LEAST 12 HOURS...
Prepare a 9 inch round cake tin, cut out 2 dish of grease-proof paper the same size as cake tin, and one long rectangle of grease-poof paper that is 6 cm wider that the height of cake tin and slightly longer than the circumference of the tin. Fold over a depth of 3 cm of one of the long edges of the rectangle of grease-poof paper and make diagonal cut into it all the way along the length. Grease the inside of your cake tin with butter and put in one of the disks of grease-poof paper . Then grease the top of the disk and put in the long grease-poof paper rectangle around the inside of the cake tin, with the cut flaps lying on the bottom of the tin. Grease the inside of the grease-poof paper rectangle and put the last disk into tin, sandwiching the "feet" of the upright grease-proof paper rectangle. Finally grease the top of that disk (so your cake won't stick). Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside of your cake tin with string so prevent the cake burning while baking in oven for 3 hours.
In large bowl place all your fruit, grated apples, nutmeg, mixed spice, cinnamon, chopped almonds, grated lemon rind and 1 cup of Jameson and not forgetting half bottle of Guinness. Mix thoroughly and cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave overnight. Next day cream the butter and sugar together until light and fully. Add beaten eggs and sieved flour and beat until well mixed . mix in soaked fruit and ground almonds and mix well. Put mixture into prepared tin smooth with back of a spoon leaving a slight hallow in the centre.
Bake the cake for 3 hours. Protect the top of cake from over-browning by covering with brown paper for the last 1+ 1/2 hours baking. Check the cake after 2+ half hours with small skewer into centre of cake = when it comes out dry cake is done; but oven temperatures can vary just might need that extra half hour.
Cool cake in tin until next day,turn out remove the paper. Using a skewer, make about 8 small holes in the cake and pour in some more whiskey just to add some more flavour (well it is an Irish cake).
Wrap the cake in 2 sheets of grease-proof paper and then cover with a layer of tin foil. Store in an airtight tin or tuber wear in a cool place. Years ago the wee old Irish woman would hide there cakes under the bed so there husband wouldn't break into the Christmas cake after a night on the beer before Christmas.
TIP= I haven't included icing in this recipe, because my husband likes this cake plain. However, there are so many different types of icing around (e.g. fondant, royal), I'll leave you to choose your own favourite. This cake should be made at least 1 month in advance...