Crazy right?! No cake could go untouched for that long in my house!
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Makes a 20cm / 8in Christmas Cake
- 150g/5oz raisins
- 125g/4.5oz dried dates, stoned and chopped
- 125g/4.5oz sultanas
- 100g/3.5oz candied cherries, rinsed
- 150ml/5 fl oz brandy
- 225g/8oz butter, plus extra for greasing
- 200g/7oz caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- grated rind of 1 orange
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 1tbsp black treacle
- 225g/8oz plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 25g/1oz toasted almonds, chopped
- 25g/1oz toasted hazelnuts, chopped
- 750g/1lb 10oz marzipan
- 3 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
- 3 egg whites
- 650g/1lb 7oz icing sugar
- Edible decorations of your choice
- Put all the fruit in a bowl and pour over the brandy. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 110C/225F/Gas Mark 1/4. Grease a 20cm/8in cake tin with butter and line it with grease proof paper. Cream the remaining butter and the caster sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the citrus rind and treacle. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and mixed spice into a separate bowl, then fold into the egg mixture. Fold in the soaked fruit and brandy and the nuts, then spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for at least 3 hours. If it browns too quickly cover with foil. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container until required.
- Roll out the marzipan and cut to shape to cover the top and sides of the cake. Brush the cake with the jam and press the marzipan on to the surface. Make the icing by placing the egg whites in a bowl and adding the icing sugar a little at a time, beating well until the icing is a very thick and will stand up in peaks. Spread over the covered cake, using a fork to give texture. Decorate your Christmas Cake as you wish with the edible decorations of your choice.