Everyone in our house loves Christmas cake and with this recipe so too will everyone in yours!
10 people180 minutes50 minutes
50gCandied Mixed Peel
200gDark Muscovado Sugar
, peeled and grated
, grated rind and juice
, grated rind and juice
For the Royal Icing
To Decorate the Cake
To Feed the Cake
, brandy or rum
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Using double layer of greaseproof paper, line the base and sides of either an 8 inch cake tin. Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside of the tin if desired too. The paper helps absorb some of the oven heat and protects the cake from overcooking.
Mix the dried fruit, cherries, candied peel, together. Stir in the lemon and orange rind, juices and grated apple. Leave aside while you make the cake mixture.
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar, treacle until light and fluffy. beat in the eggs and sieve over the flour and spices, ground almond and flaked almonds. Stir in the dried fruit mixture. The mixture should have a soft dropping consistency. If it looks a little dry, add a dash of whisky.
Spoon the cake into the prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake for 2.30 to 3 hours or until it's firm to the touch. When the cake is pierced with a skewer, it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.
Once cooled, it is time to feed to cake (once a week until a week before Christmas, best about 3 weeks minimum).
Pierce the cake with a skewer and drizzle over a spoon of whisky. Then, wrap the cake in several layers of greaseproof paper or cling film and tin foil and keep in an airtight box.
Once the cake is ready to be iced. Roll out the marzipan on a work surface dusted with icing sugar.
Using a cardboard cake holder or a plate of the size of the cake. Circle and cut the size around the marzipan. Keep aside for a minute.
In a small saucepan, melt some apricot jam and using a pastry brush, baste the top of the cake. Carefully place the marzipan over. Ideally, set aside for 1 or 2 days to allow the marzipan to dry and settle.
To finish the cake, prepare the royal icing.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites and add slowly the icing sugar until smooth and stiff.
Stir in the glycerine - this helps to stop the royal icing from setting rock solid. Spread this over the top of the cake in a decorative fashion. Be as imaginative as you like.
Decorate the cake with some holly and a few cinnamon stick. Leave it aside for the royal icing to dry a little and settle and the cake is ready to be served for Christmas day!