I’m a bit of a geek, I loooovee making the Christmas cake but this year I have forgotten… well I haven’t, I’ve just been too busy what with a holiday to organise, deadlines and then a party for Toby’s birthday. It’s all just gone by the wayside. This is just the ticket and you can do it as late as only a few days before Christmas (or even in a mad rush on Christmas eve with lots of booze over the top!). It goes without saying that it’s still best if you make it earlier and then brush it in booze every day but if you are in need, this is THE ONE.
What you need:
- 500g bag of mixed dried fruits from the super market x 2
- 100g Glaze cherries
- 150g chopped nuts
- 50g mixed peel
- A generous handful of chopped dried apricots
- 1 apple grated
- 400ml cherry brandy (or other such as sherry, brandy, apricot brandy etc)
- 300g butter
- 180g dark sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 orange
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond essence
- 300g plain flour
- 1-2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 23cm round tin
For the topping you may choose to go traditional and:
- 1 packet of roll it marzipan
- 1 packet of roll it royal icing
- 2-3 tablespoons of your favourite fruity jam
Pre heat the oven to GM 2/150C
Place all of your fruits, nuts and grated zests/apple and put it in a big bowl, cover with brandy and abandon for a few hours (or at least while you make the rest of the cake!)
Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs one at a time with a spoon of the flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
Add the remaining flour and dry ingredients, pour into your pre greased 23cm round tin (20cm if you are being square this year!) and bake in the oven for roughly 3 hours.
Once the cake is out you really do need to leave it for as long as possible in a sealed container, wrapped in foil – giving it a ‘drink’ of brandy or something at least once a day. If you don’t have time to do more than over night, paint the cake in your liquor and cover – repeat as often as you can. Be generous.
Depending on how much time you have and how you want to decorate, I recommend using the traditional marzipan and icing topping – there are so many variations though! If you are, glaze your cake in booze, followed by your favourite fruity jam (traditionally marmalade, but I LOVE apricot jam) to help the marzipan stick. Then lay your marzipan over the top, cut around to cover. You want this to be at least 1/2cm thick… don’t scrimp!
Paint again in your chosen jam and then add the icing. YUMMY!
If you really are pushed for time, why not buy one like the stunner from https://www.biscuiteers.com pictured above!