The perfect Christmas cake

    The perfect Christmas cake

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    3days4hr


    1 person made this

    About this recipe: This Christmas cake does take time to really get those festive flavours in, enjoy! For best results start this cake early, several months prior to Christmas, to give it time to mature.

    Ingredients
    Serves: 10 

    • For the cake
    • 175g raisins
    • 350g glace cherries
    • 500g currants
    • 350g sultanas
    • 150ml sherry
    • zest of 2 oranges
    • 250g butter
    • 250g light muscovado sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon black treacle
    • 75g blanched almonds
    • 75g self raising flour
    • 175g plain flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
    • To finish
    • 3 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed
    • 675g almond paste/marzipan
    • 500g shop-bought ready to roll royal icing
    • icing sugar

    Method
    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:4hr  ›  Extra time:3days soaking  ›  Ready in:3days4hr30min 

    1. Put all fruit in a container, pour over the sherry and stir in the orange zest, cover with lid, and leave to soak for 3 days, stirring daily.
    2. After 3 days, grease and line a 23cm (9 in) deep round cake tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper.
    3. Preheat oven to 140 C / 120 C fan / Gas 1.
    4. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface
    5. Bake in the centre of the oven for 4 to 4 1/2 hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown colour. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean when the cake is done. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the tin.
    6. When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little sherry. Wrap the completely cool cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry.
    7. Place the cake on a cake drum or board, or serving plate and spread the jam on top. Roll out the almond paste/marzipan to cover the cake entirely then transfer to the cake and smooth down gently over the top and sides; trim away any excess. Repeat the process with the royal icing, using a clean surface to roll it out, and place over the almond paste, smoothing down the top corners and sides. Trim any excess away and use offcuts to decorate if desired, dust with icing sugar. Slice and serve.

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