Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Christmas Cake

No Christmas would be complete without a good old fashioned Christmas Cake. Just look at what some people can do to make this otherwise humble fruit cake into masterpieces.

Bobbie from Clumsy Crafter

Now you give it a try. Here's are two recipes for a delicious Christmas cake, the decorating however is up to you!

Old Fashioned Boiled Christmas Cake


225g/8oz butter
225g/8oz sultanas
225g/8oz raisins
110g/4 oz currants
55g/2oz chopped mixed peel
55g/2oz glacé cherries, chopped
170g/6oz dried apricots, chopped
55g/2oz dried apples, chopped
110g/4oz dried dates, chopped
110g/4oz dried peaches, chopped
110g/4oz dried pears, chopped
225g/8oz soft dark brown sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
110ml/4 fl oz water
110ml/4 fl oz orange juice
110ml/4 fl oz brandy
1/2 tsp freashly grated butmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1 tblsp black treacle
5 eggs, beaten
310g/11 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the fruit topping (optional)

340g/12 oz apricot jam
340g/12 oz mixed dried fruit and nuts


Part 1

1. Put the butter, sultanas, raisins, currants, mixed peel, cherries, apricots, apples, dates, peaches, sugar, lemon and orange zest and juice, water and orange juice into a large pan.
2. Bring slowly up to the boil.
3. Stir with a wooden spoon, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins
4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
5. Add the brandy and spices and transfer to a large bowl.
6. When the mixture is completely cold, cover and place in a cool place (not the fridge) for 3 days, stirring daily.

Part 2
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2. Line the base and sides of a 25cm/10in round cake tin with a double thickness of greaseproof paper.
3. Stir the treacle into the boiled fruit mixture.
4. Beat in the eggs.
5. Sift together the flour and baking powder.
6. Stir into the cake mixture, which will be slightly sloppy.
7. Turn into the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 4 1/2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
8. When completely cold, wrap up carefully in kitchen foil until ready to decorate.

NB normally a traditional Christmas cake should be prepared up to this point as early as October for it to mature properly, but it's not completely necessary, start a couple of weeks before the big day.

Part 3

Decorating the cake

1. Put the apricot jam into a saucepan with 1 tblsp water
2. Heat until boiling and then push through a sieve
3. Allow to cool slightly, then brush the top of the cake with the apricot glaze
4. Arrange the fruit and nuts all over the top of the cake
5. Using a pastry brush glaze with the apricot glaze

Preparation time : 4 days
Cooking time : 4 - 5 hours

Light Christmas Cake


110g/4 oz glacé cherries, chopped
55g/2 oz chopped mixed peel
450g/1 lb raisins
285g/10 oz sultanas
110g/4 oz currants
225g/8 oz butter
225g/8 oz soft dark brown sugar
5 eggs, beaten
285g/10 oz plain flour
2 tsps ground mixed spice
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tblsp black treacle
200ml/7 fl oz beer or sweet sherry
110g/4 oz ground almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3
2. Line the base and sides of a 22cm/9 in round cake tin with a double thickness of greaseproof paper
3. Mix all the fruit together (set aside)
4. Cream the butter until soft
5. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy
6. Add the eggs slowly, beating well after each addition (if the mixture curdles add 1 tsp of the flour)
7. Fold in the flour, mixed spice, lemon zest, black treacle and beer or sherry
8. Stir in the almonds and fruit
9. Place the mixture in the prepared tin and make a deep hollow in the middle
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre emerges clean
11. Allow to cool on a wire rack

Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 2 - 3 hours


Bobbie - Clumsy Crafter said...

The 6th cake down, the one with the chocolate ganache and gold christmas balls is my cake. Can you please site me for it or remove it? Thanks

Charlotte Roll said...

Hi citation done, sorry no harm was intended I simply admired the handy work :)


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