I'm feeling quite prepared for Christmas this year and finished my 3rd Christmas cake today. It's wrapped up in foil cooling as I speak. I brushed the top with some brandy before wrapping in the tin so when it's cooled completely I'll take it out of the tin and rewrap ready to store and feed every week! That'll give it a good dose of alcohol before icing day.
The trick with fruit cakes being cooked over a long period of time is to wrap it well before putting in the oven. I used a double thickness of baking parchment in the tin before pouring (or dolloping more like) the cake mixture in. Then I wrapped the tin with a double thickness of brown paper, securing it with string. The paper needs to be at least double the height of the cake tin to protect it from getting scorched.
I forgot to take photos but the recipe I used is the one from Nigella's How to Be a Domestic Goddess. It hasn't failed me yet although with one of the cakes I did go a bit over the top with almond essence. Never mind, I'm saving that one for us as hubby likes marzipan so I'm sure he won't notice!!
Time to restock the fruit cupboard before stir up Sunday!