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Christmas Cake

Nutritional Information

(per serving)
760kJ / 181kcal
30g sugars
5g fat of which 1.1g saturates
0.2g salt

 

Ingredients

  • 150g mixed dried fruit
  • 1 small orange
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 x 15ml spoon vegetable oil (for greasing the tin)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 125g unsaturated fat spread at room temperature
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 x 5ml spoons baking powder
  • 375g homemade mincemeat (see  Sweet Mincemeat recipe)
  • 2 x 15ml spoons apricot jam
  • 500g packet natural marzipan
  • 500g packet fondant icing

 

Method

1. Put the dried fruit into a small bowl.
2. Wash the orange and lemon then grate the zest from them both and add to the dried fruit.
3. Carefully cut the orange and lemon in half and squeeze the juice. Stir the juice into the dried fruit.
4. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to soak for up to 24 hours, but at least for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
5. Now double line your cake tin. This will protect the cake when it is cooking and help it to come out of the tin easily. Fold a piece of baking parchmentin half and sit your cake tin on top. Draw around the cake tin then cut out the two circles you have drawn. Cut 2 long rectangles of baking parchmen  to fit around the sides of the tin (the width of the paper should be the same as the depth of the tin). Wrap the long pieces of baking parchment around the inside of the tin and put the circles into the bottom.
6. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan or gas mark 3.
7. Wash the carrot, peel and trim the ends off before carefully grating it. Weigh 75g grated carrot and put to one side.
8. Use a wooden spoon to cream the spread and sugar together in the mixing bowl.
9. Break the eggs into a small bowl, and beat with a fork. Stir into the creamed spread and sugar.
10. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the eggs, spread and sugar. Carefully fold in.
11. Add the mincemeat, grated carrot and soaked fruit including all the liquid. Stir well (some people like to make a wish when they do this).
12. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly with a spatula, and put into the oven for 1¾-2 hours. To check if it is ready, push a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready. If it is sticky, it needs a little longer. If the cake is brown on top but not cooked in the middle, cover with foil and turn the oven down to 160°C/140°C fan or gas mark 2.
13. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove from the tin, peel off the baking parchment and leave on a wire rack until completely cold.
14. Gently heat the apricot jam in a small dish in the microwave (20 seconds) or in a small saucepan until it is warm. Using the pastry brush, brush the sides and top of the cake with half of the apricot jam.
15. Knead your marzipan a little until it is soft enough to roll. Tear 2 large sheets of baking parchment and put the marzipan between them. Use the rolling pin to roll out the marzipan between the sheets of paper until it is large enough to cover the whole cake.
16. Gently peel off 1 sheet of paper and carefully lift the marzipan onto the cake (marzipan side facedown). Peel off the top layer of paper, smooth the marzipan down (especially around the sides) and trim around the bottom, so that it looks neat.
17. Brush on another layer of apricot jam and then roll out the fondant in exactly the same way as the marzipan. Smooth over the cake and prick any air bubbles with a small pin.
18. Wrap a pretty ribbon around the bottom of the cake and it is ready to serve.

If you enjoyed making this recipe and would like to share your success with others we’d love to hear from you