FOR THE CAKE
500g (1lb 2oz) mixed dried fruit
50g (2oz) glace cherries, chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
7 tbsp brandy
175g (6oz) butter or margarine, softened
175g (6oz) dark brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tbsp treacle
225g (8oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground mixed spice
50g (2oz) ground almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Grated rind and juice 1/2 orange
Grated rind and juice 1/2 lemon
Ready rolled marzipan
Ready rolled icing
Christmas cake decorations set
- T. Cocinado → 180 min
- Nivel → Medio
1 In a bowl, mix the dried fruit, cherries, ground ginger and 4 tbsp brandy. Cover and stand overnight, stirring occasionally.
2 Preheat oven to 150c/ fan 140c/ Gas mark 2. Grease a deep 20cm (8inch) round cake tin. Line the base with 3 layers of greaseproof paper, and the sides with 2 layers. This helps prevent the cake from burning.
3 In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Gradually beat in the eggs, treacle and half the flour. Sieve in the temaining flour, baking powder, salt and spice, and fold in with the ground almonds.
4 Stir in the dried fruit mixture, natural extract, citrus rind and juices. Pile into tin and smooth the top. On the outside of the tin secure 2 layers of brown paper 2.5cm (1inch) higher than the tin itself, and tie with string. Bake in the oven for about 3 hours, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
5 Remove the cake and pierce with a skewer all over; spoon over the remaining brandy. Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil then store in a cool, dark place for 1 month to 1 year, adding 1 tbsp brandy every 3 weeks as above.
6 To Decorate
Brush the top and sides of the cake with jam/shredless marmalade and, using the inner tube to support the marzipan, lift the marzipan disc over onto the cake.
7 Smooth marzipan over the centre and down the sides, pulling out any folds and trim any excess with a knife - make sure the surface is smooth ready for the icing.
8 Moisten the surface of the marzipan with boiled water. Using the inner tube to support the icing, lift the icing disc over and onto the cake. Smooth the icing down over the sides and remove any excess.
9 Finish with the Christmas cake decoration set.