This traditional Christmas cake pulls out all the stops - a gorgeously rich, moist cake with mixed fruit, mixed spices and CherryActive Montmorency cherries. If you have the time, feed it with brandy in the run up to Christmas.
Cooking Time: 3-31/2 hours
Serves: 14-16 slices
225g Raisins (seedless)
170g CherryActive dried Montmorency Cherries
255g Plain Flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Grated nutmeg
1 tsp Mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
225g Stork margarine
225g Caster (or brown) sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
4 Large eggs
90g Ground almonds
2 tbsp Apricot jam, warmed
1 pack (500g) White marzipan
1 pack (1kg) Soft white icing
- Mix all of the dried fruit in a bowl and pour over the brandy, cover and leave overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 140C (fan), 160C (conventional) or gas mark 2. Grease and line a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment (ensure paper sits 3cm above tin height).
- Sieve together the plain flour, salt, nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Add the stork to a large mixing bowl and beat slightly in a stand mixer or handheld mixer.
- Add the sugar to the stork and cream together thoroughly.
- Add the lemon zest and mix in well.
- Add the eggs one at a time to the mix, adding a little of the ground almonds with each egg.
- Once thoroughly mixed together fold in the flour and dried fruit mixtures. Add half of each at a time and gently mix together until the ingredients are well mixed.
- Empty the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth over the top to make it level.
- Place in the middle shelf of your oven and bake for 3-31/2 hours.
- Remove from the oven, leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn out carefully, remove the baking parchment and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- If baking in advance drizzle over a couple of tbsp of brandy and wrap the cake well before placing in an airtight container. Repeat this process if you want to mature your cake (1-2 tbsp of brandy a week should be sufficient).
- If you wish to ice your cake remove from container and place on a cake base. Add the apricot jam to a small saucepan.
- Meanwhile lightly flour your work surface and roll out the marzipan.
- Brush your cake all over with the apricot jam and on top and gently smooth down the edges. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and leave to dry in a cool place for at least one day.
- Once ready for icing, brush the cake with water, brandy or vodka. Doing this allows the icing to stick to the surface of the marzipan.
- Knead the icing until soft and pliable (this prevents the icing from cracking), liberally dust your work surface with icing sugar roll out the icing to a circle larger than the cake.
- Carefully lift the icing on to the cake and carefully press down the top edge and the sides. Smooth icing over with the palm of you hand until you are happy with the finish.
- Enjoy with a cup of tea on Christmas Day!
Its Christmas, don't worry about these let your hair down!