Get the kids involved in making the Christmas cake, and be sure to make that wish when you're stirring!
Put on some Christmas music - we recommend Christmas with the Rat Pack :-)
Clean and dry the fruit (using a clean tea towel) and chop the peel (if not chopped) and cherries
Put the sugar and butter in a bowl and cream together
Break the eggs separately in another bowl, beat lightly and add one by one into the creamed mixture
Beat each egg in thoroughly before adding the next. The mixture should be light and fluffy
Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl and add the fruit and lemon rind. Fold gradually into creamed mixture
Continue to mix in dry ingredients lightly, adding a squeeze of lemon juice and a little milk
At this stage, why not get everyone to have a mix and make a wish - just make sure they don't tell what it is!
Put the mixture, which should be of a stiff drooping consistency, into a double lined 9-inch (around 22cm) cake tin (we line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment)
Bake at 150C for about two hours, then turn down the oven to 135C and continue to cook for a further 2.5 to 3 hours. I'd recommend checking after the first (extra) hour as your oven may be cooking it quicker.
When the cake is sufficiently brown you can cover it with a double sheet of greaseproof paper
Once finished leave the cake to cool in the tin for a while before taking it out of the tin and leaving it on a wire rack to cool
Once completely cool, put away in a tin for a few weeks until it's time to put almond icing (marzipan) layer on.
Serving Size Lots of slices!