For me, 2014 has been about trying new things and although I thought I hated it, I added make Christmas cake to my bucket list for the year. It turns out, I actually quite like Christmas cake and this recipe that I adapted from one of my recipe books is pretty damn good – and not as tricky as I thought it would be either! Also, I always thought sultanas, currants and raisins were the same thing – apparently not!
- 225g sultanas
- 225g currants
- 225g raisins
- 115g chopped prunes
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g dried peel
- 45ml brandy
- 225g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 225g butter
- 225g brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g chopped almonds
- 60ml apricot jam
- 1 pack of ready to roll marzipan
- 1 pack ready to roll icing
- Put all the fruit and peel in a bowl with the brandy. Stir and cover with a teatowel overnight.
- Grease a baking tin and preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3
- Mix together the flour, spices and cocoa powder.
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs.
- Add the flour mixture and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into the baking tin and smooth the top.
- Bake for three hours.
- Cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
- You can then wrap the cake in foil once completely cooled until ready to ice.
- To ice the cake, turn it upside down.
- Heat the jam and spread over the cake.
- Make a sausage of marzipan to fill any gap around the bottom edge and the roll out the rest of the marzipan onto a surface dusted with icing sugar.
- Cover the cake in marzipan and then repeat with the icing.
The bottom edge of the icing on my cake didn’t look great in places but I just covered it with ribbon. You can decorate the cake however you like and it tastes great. I am now a Christmas cake convert and will be making this every year!