Andrea’s Christmas Cake

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You can make Andrea’s Christmas cake well ahead of the big day – in fact, the longer you leave it, the better it will taste! This delicious Christmas cake will be the talk of your Christmas Day meal or party. Made with fruits including currants, raisins and candies and soaked with rich sherry, the sponge is fruity and moist. Andrea’s Christmas cake is topped with an easy royal icing and decorated with a festive ribbon. This cake is simple to recreate at home and has to be one of our favourite bakes. The whole family are going to love tucking into this cake. It makes a foolproof Christmas cake every time.

XMAS-CAKE

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  • Prep Time: 1h
  • Cook Time: 2h
  • Total Time: 1h
  • Serves: 8
  • Category:

Ingredients

Ingredients for the cake

  • 225 grams butter
  • 225 grams brown sugar
  • 350 grams flour (00)
  • 900 grams dried mixed fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, figs, apricots, peaches, candies....)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, etc....)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond syrup
  • 150 milliliters sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

To decorate

  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed
  • 250 grams shop-bought almond paste

For the royal icing

  • 500 grams icing sugar, sieved
  • 3 free-range egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

Preparation of the cake

  1. Put all the dried fruit in a container, pour over the sherry. Cover with a lid, and leave to soak for 2 days, stirring daily. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) deep round tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140C, 120C fan, gas 1.
  2. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence, almond syrup, salt, baking soda, into a very large bowl and beat well. Add the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Stir in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
  3. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is a perfect colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
  4. When cool, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry. Wrap the completely cold cake in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for 10 days, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don't remove the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)

Marzipan and icing

  1. To decorate the cake, place the cake on a foil board or cake plate. Dust your hands and the work surface with a little icing sugar and knead the marzipan until soft. Roll out half the marzipan to fit the top of the cake and roll out the rest in strips to fit around the sides of the cake. Brush the cake all over with the warmed apricot jam and then place the marzipan on top and around the cake. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place for at least one day. To make the icing, lightly whisk the egg whites adding the sugar at intervals. Beat well until the icing reaches soft peaks. Add the lemon juice. Spread icing all over cake either flat iced using a clean ruler or by forming soft peaks. Decorate with Christmas ornaments.

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