I absolutely love Christmas Cake. Although up to now, I’ve never actually made my own. I’ve rather cheekily relied on being given a few slices of the amazing cake my Mum makes every year! Now that I’m at home with the twins and not in the office, I have lots of friends popping over for a cuppa. So it’s the perfect time to make my first Christmas Cake and share the Christmas Cake love!
I’ve been soaking the fruit in brandy for the last month but if you’re pushed for time, you could soak the fruit for just one or two weeks before you make it. If you start now (18th Nov) you could easily soak the fruit for a few weeks, make the cake and still have 3-4 weeks for the cake to mature.
The cake will be in the oven for about 4 hours so you need to make sure you use a good quality cake tin that will help ensure an even bake. I used a springform, non-stick tin from Lakeland.
Mr C and I stuck into cake making on Saturday and the house was filled with the most intoxicating Christmas aroma for the rest of the weekend. I can’t wait to make the first cut!
Fruit for soaking:
175g/6oz glace cherries
175g/6oz mixed citrus peel
150ml/0.25 pint brandy or rum
2 tbsp sherry (optional)
2 tbsp orange juice (optional)
225g/8oz self raising flour
85g/3oz ground almonds
1 heaped tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
225g/8oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g/8oz dark muscovado sugar
zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon
2 tbsp apricot jam
225g/8oz bought or homemade marzipan
250g/9oz white ready-to-roll icing
silver balls and ribbon, to decorate
You will need:
A 20cm round cake tin, about 7-8cm deep
Greaseproof Paper for lining the tin
Stand or hand held electric mixer
Lemon zester and juicer
Large mixing bowl
Christmas Ribbon to decorate
Silver Balls to decorate
1. Put the dried fruit and peel in a bowl and pour over the brandy or rum and sherry. (I prefer brandy). Mix well and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for at least a month. Stir the fruits every few weeks. If they look dry, add more booze or a splash of orange juice.
2. Start making the cake once the fruits are plump. Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Butter a 20cm round cake tin – about 7-8 cm deep – and line the base and sides with greaseproof paper. To protect the sides from burning, tie a double layer of greaseproof paper around the outside of the tin.
3. Blitz the soaked fruit mixture in three batches in a food processor, blitzing the final batch only lightly to keep some bite and texture to the fruit. Mix the flour, almonds and spices in a large bowl and stir in the fruits. Don’t worry if it’s hard to mix.
4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one by one. Stir into the fruit mixture bit by bit, along with the lemon zest and juice.
5. Tip the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Reduce the heat to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 and bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours (4 hours
in a gas oven). Take care it doesn’t overcook. Insert a skewer deep into the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Cool slightly, remove from the tin, and cool on a wire rack.
6. Store in a double layer of greaseproof paper, wrapped in foil until ready to ice. You can store the cake for up to 3 months. Make sure you “feed” the cake by making skewer holes and pouring in brandy or rum every few weeks. Wrap up the cake tightly after every “feed”.
7. Brush the top of the cake with jam, roll out the marzipan to fit and place it on top. Roll out the icing to fit and place on top of the marzipan. Decorate with silver balls and ribbon.
I’m going to let my cake mature for a few weeks and once I get around to icing it, I’ll post another picture. Happy Christmas Cake Making.
Let me know how you get on and please share this recipe with your friends!
I’m linking this post up with #MarvMondays
I’m linking this post up to the #FabFridayPost and #bakeoftheweek and #coolmumclub