Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas Cooking: Christmas Cake

Serving Suggestion

It may be mid-January, but the Christmas spirit lives on here in the form of some stuff I meant to post over Christmas, but didn't. To kick off, here's there recipe I use every year to whip up a Christmas cake. To be more precise, it's actually just a porter cake with icing, but damn it, that's close enough.

Ingredients:

8oz Sugar
8oz Butter
1lb Self Raising Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Eggs
1/2 Pint Porter
2lb Dried Fruit
2oz Ground Almonds

For Icing:
Strawberry Jam
1 Bag of Icing Sugar*
1 Pack Marzipan

*Plus whatever ingredients the icing recipe on the bag of icing sugar requires.

Method
  1. Cream the butter and sugar (I'm sure there's a YouTube video on this :D)
  2. Mix the spices together with the flour.
  3. Beat the eggs.
  4. Start adding the eggs alternatively with the flour to the mixture, once the eggs run out start adding the porter instead.
  5. When all the eggs, flour and porter are added to the mix, add the ground almonds and fruit. I usually add a small carton of mixed peel, a small carton of glance cherries and make up the rest of the 2lb with a combination of raisins, sultanas, currants and dried cranberries.
  6. Preheat your oven to 150C and transfer the mix to a 9 inch cake tin. I usually line the cake tin with cardboard (from a cardboard box) wrapped in greaseproof paper - a round disc of cardboard at the bottom and a strip along the side (a few inches higher than the tin). That may well be a fire hazard (Do it at your own risk!), but I find it makes it easier to remove the cake once it's done.
  7. Start checking the cake once it's been cooking for 1 1/2 hours.
  8. When it's done, the top of the cake should be brown and a knife/fork handle/knitting needle inserted into the centre should come out reasonably clean and not covered in wet cake.
  9. Once the cake is done, leave it cool before taking it out of the tin. I usually leave it overnight. Wrap it in tin foil to keep it from going hard.
Icing:
  1. Put a few desert spoons of jam into a mug and melt in a microwave. It should only take a minute or so at full power.
  2. Brush the melted jam onto the outside of the cake with a pastry brush.
  3. Roll out the marzipan with a rolling pin until it's big enough to cover the top and sides of the cake. Use some of the icing sugar to stop it from sticking to the rolling pin or the surface underneath.
  4. Cover the cake with the marzipan, smoothing it down with your hands.
  5. Make the icing as per the instructions on the pack of icing sugar.
  6. Cover the marzipan coating with icing. I find a kitchen scraper works well for this.
  7. After a few days drying, the icing should be solid enough to decorate or alternatively, to re-wrap in tin foil.

2 comments:

Christmas Pudding Recipe said...

I love your Christmas Cake recipe and the photo looks great. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for posting.

JiliK said...

Thanks!