November 24 – traditionally known as Stir Up Sunday, is the day for Christmas Cake making and for Christmas Puddings…

Jan’s Christmas Fruit Cakes, mak them on Stir Up Sunday

The ‘Sunday last before Advent’ is the traditional day in the Anglican Church, known as Stir Up Sunday. The name comes from the collect from the day read from the pulpit which starts with the words, “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people”.

Each year I look for different puddings and cake and this year, I am proud to tell you about Christmas Cakes made by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, in his Restaurant Jan in Nice on the French Mediterranean Coast. Jan was the first South African to receive a Michelin Star, two years ago.

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, of the Michelin Starred Restaurant Jan in Nice, France

He says “Christmas would not be Christmas, in my opinion, without a steady supply of boozy fruit cake. The first time someone asked me why fruit cake tasted so bad, I nearly fell off my chair. Who doesn’t like fruit cake? But then I realised that a lot of people might associate it with the shop-bought variety. Disaster. A fruit cake is a living thing. If you don’t give it the proper love and attention by topping it up with a weekly dose of brandy, the fruit will soak all the moisture out of the dough. No, when it comes to fruit cake, “Give and you shall receive” is the best philosophy. Game? Follow my recipe and you’ll have three decadent cakes ready for the season of giving.

The front door of Jan in Nice, South France

The recipe is fulsome and shows you step by step how to prepare your cake tins.

To go to Jan’s recipes – CLICK HERE

Read more about Restaurant Jan in Nice – CLICK HERE

Recipe by kind permission of Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen