Friday, November 5, 2010

You need to making your Christmas cake soon

Christmas cake

This traditional Christmas cake pulls out all the stops - if you have the time, feed it with brandy in the run up to Christmas.

225g/8oz plain flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
200g/7oz butter
200g/7oz dark brown sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp marmalade
¼ tsp vanilla essence
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
800g/1¾lb mixed dried fruits
100g/3½oz chopped mixed peel
150g/5oz glacé cherries, halved
100g/3½oz blanched almonds, chopped
To decorate
200g/7oz marzipan
1-2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
royal icing
3 free-range egg whites
600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sieved
1½ tsp liquid glycerine - optional
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preparation method
Heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Grease a 20cm/8inch round or an 18cm/7inch square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
Cream the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the sugar, treacle, marmalade and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a skewer. If not ready bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbspof brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
Store the cake wrapped in foil and in an airtight tin or plastic container, holes side up.
OPTIONAL: For a rich and moist cake, spoon over a few tablespoons of brandy every week until you are ready to ice and decorate your cake.
To make the icing, lightly whisk the egg whites adding the sugar at intervals. Beat well until the icing reaches soft peaks. Add the glycerine if using and the lemon juice.
Spread icing all over cake either flat iced using a clean ruler or by forming soft peaks.


Post a Comment