I’ve been wanting to write this post for ages now but as I’ve been busy, like most on the run up to Christmas Day, I’m only getting round to it now and I’ve not even iced my own personal Christmas cake yet! Anyhow, here’s how to make the perfect Christmas cake even last minute on Christmas Eve!
Preheat the oven to 215c / Gas Mark 7, when you start to mix your cake, drop the oven temperature to 160c (150c for fan assisted ovens) – Gas 1-2.
Start by drawing around the base of your cake tins on greaseproof paper X2 and greasing with oil, the base, sides and on top of the greaseproof circles. I bought my tins from Lakeland, they are approx 22cm wide and 4cm deep and they are so handy for any kind of cake. However I have used 2 X 6 Inch cake tins with high edges, I’ve cut fringes on the paper and ensured the paper is the height of the tin. Then flattened the fringes down inside the tin and placed the square / circle on top and greased the paper to make sure it doesn’t stick to the cake.
Rich Fruit Cake Ingredients & Method
172g Butter or Soft Margarine
172g Dark Brown Molasses Sugar
Stage 1 – Mix the butter and brown sugar until amalgamated.
Stage 2 – Add the eggs.
172g Plain Flour
45g SR Flour
45g Ground Almonds
7.5ml Mixed Spice
7.5ml Ground Cinnamon
Add the dry ingredients.
90g Glacé Cherries
45g Mixed Peel
45g Walnuts (optional)
Add the dried fruits, cherries (toss them in some flour and half them beforehand) mixed peel and walnuts (break them up slightly).
I add a dash of Brandy for a bit of extra Christmas body to the cake, if you make your cake in enough time you can top it up with brandy every other day, as it will soak into the baked cake. Evenly disperse the cake between the 2 tins (I always make 2 cakes to fill my 2 cake tins but you can adjust the recipe accordingly).
For the 6 inch tins, the recipe is enough to fill both of the tins. Make a slight well in the middle of the cakes and place the cakes in the centre of the oven and bake for approx 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Once baked, allow to cool completely, you can store the cakes in an airtight container and top up with brandy every so often until you’re ready to decorate.
You can either brush the apricot jam or spread it with a palette knife over the cake. You can heat the jam up for a few seconds in the microwave or leave it cool but make sure you beat any lumps out for spreading.
Once you have spread the jam on the cake, clean your workspace and sprinkle on some icing sugar or cornflour and knead the marzipan, ensure you keep reapplying icing sugar/cornflour so as you can roll the marzipan evenly and cover the cake. Use a smoothing tool to eliminate any lumps and do the same thing with the sugar paste of your choice.
Please note, a silicone rolling pin is best to use, but a wooden one works ok too.
Use your smoothing tool again to eliminate lumps and bumps and then decorate to your hearts content.
Below are some of my previous Christmas cakes. I did the Santa one earlier this month for a very worthwhile charity that my mum works for called MUSAC, they raffled the cake off to help raise funds for the charity based in West Lothian, which runs day groups and activities for people with disabilities.
YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are great for cake ideas, you can make it as simple or as difficult as you like but one things for sure, whoever you make the cake for will appreciate it.
I’m hoping to decorate my own personal cake as a Robin later on today. Have a very Merry Christmas.