Christmas Cake

photo

I know I know, it’s Halloween and a little early to bring out the tinsel, but a good Christmas cake should be made in advance to enable lots of feeding e.g. plying it with alcohol in the lead up to Christmas. Admittedly there’s a reason why this cake is only made once a year; the amount of dried fruit needed make it fairly pricey. However, it beats a shop bought purchase by miles and I guarantee Father Christmas won’t leave a half bitten piece of cake this year…..

This recipe is by James Martin:

  • 1kg mixed dried fruits (I used a mixture of raisins, cranberries and figs)
  • zest and juice 1 orange
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 150ml brandy or sherry
  • 250g pack butter, softened
  • 200g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Put the dried fruit, zests and juice, alcohol, butter anphoto 1d sugar in a large pan and slowly bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.
  2. Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, then wrap a double layer of newspaper or more parchment paper around the outside – tie with string to secure.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well. Pour into your prepared tin, level the top and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
  5. Take off the parchment and wrap well in cling film. Over the next couple of weeks feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.
  6. Stay tuned on how to marzipan and ice your cake nearer Christmas time.

Directions for use: Try to feed the cake and notphoto 2 yourself…….

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