Quick Christmas Cake
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Quick Christmas Cake

A Christmas fruit cake where you don't soak the fruit beforehand but you do have the option of spooning over a few tablespoons of brandy every week until you are ready to ice and decorate your cake.

Jonathan

Ingredients

Serves: 8 

  • Cake
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 220g butter
  • 220g brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons treacle or golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 875g mixed dried fruits
  • 110g chopped mixed peel
  • 155g glace cherries, halved
  • 110g blanched almonds, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy plus extra for sprinkling
  • To Decorate
  • 220g marzipan
  • 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed
  • Royal Icing
  • 3 egg whites
  • 655g icing sugar, sieved
  • 2 teaspoons liquid glycerine, optional
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Preparation:45min  ›  Cook:3hours  ›  Ready in:3hours45min 

  1. Cake: Heat the oven to 150 degrees C. Grease a 20cm round or an 18cm square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
  2. Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
  5. Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
  6. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbsp of brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
  10. Store the cake wrapped in foil and in an airtight tin or plastic container, holes side up.
  11. To Decorate: Place the cake on a foil board or cake plate. Dust your hands and the work surface with a little icing sugar and knead the marzipan until soft.
  12. Roll out half the marzipan to fit the top of the cake and roll out the rest in strips to fit around the sides of the cake.
  13. Brush the cake all over with the warmed apricot jam and then place the marzipan on top and around the cake. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place for at least one day.
  14. Royal 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.
  15. Spread icing all over cake either flat iced using a clean ruler or by forming soft peaks. Decorate with Christmas ornaments.

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