Christmas Celebration Cake

RECIPE INFO

Serves 8

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Cook's NoteBrush the whole cake with apricot jam before coating in marzipan and brush the marzipan in a little water before applying the icing. For a simple non-iced finish decorate the top of the cake with blanched almonds before baking.
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INGREDIENTS

  • 400g raisins
  • 300g sultanas
  • 300g currants
  • 175g glacé cherries
  • 115g candied peel
  • Zest of 1 lemon and 1 large orange
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 125ml fortified wine (port or sherry)
  • 280g butter, softened
  • 280g dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 280g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 85g ground almonds

METHOD

Line the base and sides of the cake tin with baking parchment and set to one side.

Mix the fruit and peel in a bowl, stir in the citrus zest, juice and fortified wine. Cover and leave to soak overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/Gas Mark

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl; beat in the eggs one at a time. To prevent curdling add 1- 2 tablespoons of the flour after the addition of the first 2 eggs.

Sift in the flour with the spices, add the ground almonds and mix well.

Stir the soaked fruit into the mixture and combine.

Pour the cake mixture into the tin, smooth over the top and make a small well in the centre.

The well will ensure a flat top to the cake. Cook for 30 minutes at 170°C/150°C fan/Gas Mark 3.

Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C/120°C fan/Gas Mark Continue cooking for 3 to 3½ hours.

Cover the cake lightly with a piece of aluminium foil for the last hour of cooking to prevent over browning.

Turn the cake tin two or three during cooking to ensure even baking.

Test to see if the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the centre, it should come away cleanly. Cool the cake in the tin. Release the springform clip and lift the side of the tin away then remove the cake from the base. Wrap in baking paper and foil, store in a cool dry place to mature.