So it must be nearly Christmas as the cake is iced and ready. I used our traditional family recipe, but changed out the brandy for tea and apple juice so as not to poison myself!
Christmas cake recipe
Cooking time: 4 – 4 Â½ hrs
For the cake
- 8oz Soft brown sugar (225g)
- 8oz butter (225g)
- 5 eggs
- 10oz flour (285g)
- Â½ oz mixed spice (15g)
- Â¾ tsp almond essence
- Â¾ tsp lemon essence
- 1 tbsp black treacle/marmalade
- 1 lb currants (454g)
- 8 oz raisins (225g)
- 8 oz sultanas (225g)
- 4 oz cherries (we use 8oz) (225g)
- 4 oz chopped mixed peel (115g)
- Rum, brandy or cherry brandy for steeping the fruit and pouring over the cake (Lady Grey tea as an alternative for steeping the fruit and apple juice an alternative for feeding it)
For the icing
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked
- 300g sifted icing sugar
- 1tsp lemon juice
- Grease and line a 9â€ cake tin. Tie folded brown paper or newspaper round the outside of the tin. Wash the fruit.
- Put all the fruit in a bowl and pour at least a wine-glass of brandy (or a mug of Lady Grey tea allowed to go cold) over it. Leave overnight.
- Sieve the flour and spice.
- Cream the fat and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the essence, and the treacle or marmalade.
- Gradually beat in the eggs.
- Lightly fold in half the flour. Mix the remaining flour with the fruit. Stir into the cake mixture.
- Turn mixture into the tin, make a shallow hollow in the centre.
- Place a pad of newspaper in the oven on the middle shelf. Bake the cake on this at 335Â°F (165Â°C) – Mark 3, for 1 hour. Reduce to 310Â°F (150Â°C) – Mark 2, for the next hour, then reduce to 290Â°F (140Â°C) – Mark 1, for the remaining cooking time. Cover the cake with paper if it becomes too brown.
- Turn the cake onto a wire tray. Remove the paper. Prick the bottom of the cake, spoon brandy (or apple juice) over it and allow to soak in.
- When the cake is cold, wrap it in foil or grease-proof paper and store until required. Make the cake 6-8 weeks before it is required and feed regularly with brandy or apple juice.
- Apply ready-to-roll marzipan. I use marmalade to bind the marzipan sheet to the cake.
- For the icing, lightly whisk one egg white and then continuously fold in the sifted icing sugar until you achieve a thick paste.
- Add the lemon juice and mix into a smooth paste
- Apply evenly all round the cake and leave to set.
And hopefully it will turn out something like this!