With Christmas just 2 weeks away, here’s a great recipe to get you baking.
Every country has it’s own version of the Christmas cake & every family probably has their own special variation.
My recipe is a rich moist fruit cake packed with fruit cooked in brandy.
You won’t need to keep feeding this one … Cooking the fruit in brandy keeps them deliciously soft and moist even months after baking the cake.
The fruit and cake take quite some time to cook, cool & bake so make sure you plan your time accordingly. Give yourself at least 1 week for the cake to cool down before decorating and serving.
Here’s what you would need for a 7″ round cake:
120d soft dark brown sugar
3 medium eggs
150g flour (I prefer self raising as it makes the cake less dense)
480g mixed fruit (sultanas, currants & mixed peel)
60g glace cherries
10g mixed spice or cinnamon
50g dark treacle
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
zest & juice of 1 orange
zest & juice of 1 lemon
150ml brandy or dark rum
Cooking the fruit:
I prefer to do this the night before I bake so they are cold enough to mix into the batter in the morning.
– Measure out the brandy, mixed fruit, glace cherries, zest and juice of orange & lemon in a pan.
– Cook them on low heat until the alcohol is almost completely absorbed by the fruit.
– Pour them out onto a tray & leave to cool completely
Mixing the batter:
– Sieve the flour & spice together
– Cream together the butter and sugar
– Pour in the treacle & vanilla extract
– Add the eggs, one at a time
– Fold the flour + spice into the mixture.
– Add the cooked fruit a little at a time and mix until it is evenly spread into the batter. Repeat until all the fruit is mixed in.
– Line a 7″ cake tin with parchment paper. Pour the batter into it.
– Place the tin into the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill the batter further.
– Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150 deg C for at least 1 and 1/2 hr, until done (it takes me approximately 2 hrs in my oven).
– Leave to cool for at least 8 hrs
Pack the cake in parchment paper & store for at least a week, until you are ready to decorate.
Seal any holes left by the fruit with small balls of marzipan.
Lightly coat the sides & top with apricot jam.
Cover with marzipan & smooth over.
Turn over & cover the bottom with marzipan & smooth over.
Cover with sugarpaste and decorate with cutouts or sugar sculptures.