Christmas Cake
(from the UK )

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Ingredients

Metric

  • 350g Self Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 110g Ground Almonds
  • 225g Butter
  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs beaten with 8 tablespoons Milk
  • (or 1/2 Milk and Brandy)
  • 225g Currants
  • 225g Sultanas
  • 225g Raisins
  • 110g Halved Glacé Cherries
  • 110g Cut Mixed Peel

Imperial / American

  • 12oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
  • 4oz Ground Almonds
  • 8oz Butter
  • 8oz Caster Sugar
  • 4 Eggs beaten with 8 tablespoons Milk
  • (or 1/2 Milk and Brandy)
  • 8oz Currants
  • 8oz Sultanas
  • 8oz Raisins
  • 4oz Halved Glacé Cherries
  • 4oz Cut Mixed Peel

Method

Sieve, together the flour, spice and ground almonds. Cream butter and sugar, stir in flour mixture and eggs with milk (alternately, a little at a time). Wash and add the fruit. Mix thoroughly.

Place the mixture in a greased and lined 9 inch / 23 cm round or 8 inch / 20 cm square tin. Protect the tin on the outside so it is 3 inches / 7.5 cm above the tin with brown paper or foil.

Bake in slow oven at 150°C / 300°F / Gas Mark 2 for about 4 1/2 hours. Cover the top of the cake after 3 hours with some foil. This stops it burning. You can check if it cooked by putting a skewer in the cake. If it is clean when it comes out, the cake is probably cooked, you can finally check by listening to it. If you can hear bubbling, it needs a bit longer.

The cake needs to cool in its tin for at least 30 mins before going on to a cooling rack. Then after it is cooled, you can apply the Marzipan and Icing.

 

Marzipan

Ingredients

Metric

  • 350g Ground Almonds
  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 175g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • Juice of half a lemon

Imperial / American

  • 12oz Ground Almonds
  • 6oz Caster Sugar
  • 6oz Icing Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method

Place dry ingredients in a bowl. Add lemon juice, then just enough beaten egg to make a pliable paste. (or you can buy it in a super market!)

Level top of cake if necessary, by trimming with a knife, or adding pieces of Marzipan. Brush the cake with lemon curd or apricot jam. Cut off 1/3 of the Marzipan. Cover the worktop with icing sugar and roll out the remaining 2/3 of Marzipan into a strip the depth of, and long enough to go round, the cake. Press the marzipan on to sides of cake. Roll out the remainder of the Marzipan into a circle, press on top of cake.

Smooth all the joins with a knife or rolling pin, to give a level top with a sharp edge to the sides of the cake. Cover with greaseproof paper and leave to dry for about a week before decorating with the Icing.

 

Royal Icing

Ingredients

Metric

  • 900g Icing Sugar
  • 4 Eggs Whites
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice for firmer icing,
  • or 2 teaspoons Glycerine may be added to keep icing soft

Imperial / American

  • 2lb Icing Sugar
  • 4 Eggs Whites
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice for firmer icing,
  • or 2 teaspoons Glycerine may be added to keep icing soft

Method

Lightly beat egg whites and lemon juice together. Sieve the icing sugar, add half to the egg whites and beat well. Add the remainder of the Icing sugar gradually, stirring well until stiff enough to stand in peaks in the bowl.

Secure the cake to a cake board (or what ever it will be displayed on,with a little icing before you ice and decorate the cake. Using a palette knife or broad bladed knife, cover the entire cake with an even thickness of icing. (Keeping the knife warm will help to spread the Icing. Occasionally dipping it in a mug of warm water works!!!))

For a rough 'snow' effect, pull the icing up into peaks with the flat of the knife. Add decorations before the icing sets

For a smooth finish, level top and sides with a knife. (use the warm knife trick again!)