Sum­mer cake’s trop­i­cal notes

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

This in­ter­est­ing Christ­mas cake has rapidly be­come one of Ali­son’s most re­quested recipes!

It is lighter in colour than most tra­di­tional Christ­mas cakes, and very pretty - the golden cake is stud­ded with light coloured crys­tallised trop­i­cal fruits, that is per­fect for cel­e­brat­ing our sum­mer Christ­mas, but is ap­par­ently also prov­ing very pop­u­lar as a birth­day cake, and is es­pe­cially pop­u­lar for golden wed­ding an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

The crys­tallised fruits can be a lit­tle bit harder to find than con­ven­tional dried fruit, but are now avail­able in most su­per­mar­kets (or other stores) that stock a range of bulk foods. CHRIST­MAS CAKE For a 20cm square or 23cm round or square (2.25kg) cake. About 1 cup each cubed crys­tallised mango, pa­paya, pineap­ple and melon 1 cup sul­tanas 1 cup dried cran­ber­ries or ex­tra sul­tanas 1 cup chardon­nay (or other white wine) or 1/2 cup orange juice plus 1/2 cup wa­ter 1/2-1 cup glace cher­ries, op­tional 250g but­ter 1 cup su­gar 5 large eggs 1 cup ground al­monds 1 tsp vanilla essence 1/2 tsp al­mond essence, op­tional grated rind of 1 orange and le­mon 1 1/2 cups high grade (bread) flour 1 1/2 tsp bak­ing pow­der

Buy a to­tal of about 1kg of 3 or 4 of the crys­tallised fruits. Cut th­ese into 5mm cubes with scis­sors or a sharp knife. (You need 3-4 cups of cubed crys­tallised fruit in to­tal.)

Add the sul­tanas and cran­ber­ries to the crys­tallised fruit. Sim­mer the fruit and wine in a cov­ered fry­pan for five min­utes or un­til nearly all liq­uid is ab­sorbed, then leave to stand in the cov­ered pan overnight or for 8 hours to soak up re­main­ing liq­uid. ( Fruit will have a beau­ti­ful jewel- like ap­pear­ance!) Stir in the quar­tered cher­ries, if us­ing.

Heat oven to 150 de­grees Cel­sius (140C fan­bake), with the rack just be­low the mid­dle.

Pre­pare a 20cm square, or 23cm round or square pan, lin­ing sides and base with bak­ing pa­per or a Te­flon liner.

In a food pro­ces­sor or large bowl, beat the soft (but not melted) but­ter and su­gar un­til creamy. Beat in one egg at a time, adding a spoon­ful of the ground al­monds af­ter each one. Beat in the essences, re­main­ing ground al­monds and the finely grated cit­rus rinds, then sift in the flour and bak­ing pow­der. Com­bine the cake mix­ture and the cold, pre­pared fruit us­ing your hand and spread mix­ture evenly in the pre­pared pan.

Cakes in 23cm pans are 5-6cm high and should bake at 150C (140C fan­bake) for 45 min­utes then at 130C (120C fan­bake) for 11/2-2 hours. Cakes in 20cm pans are about 6-7cm high and should bake at 150C (140C fan­bake) for 45 min­utes then at 130C (120C fan­bake) for 2-21/2 hours. Cover top with pa­per if it browns too fast. Cakes are cooked when a skewer pushed deeply in the cen­tre comes out clean.

When cooled, wrap loosely with bak­ing pa­per, then re­frig­er­ate. For best flavour, leave a week be­fore eat­ing. Serve as is, or ice with al­mond ic­ing and royal or plas­tic ic­ing.


Sea­sonal treat: Ali­son Holst’s Christ­mas Cake recipe is a pop­u­lar one.

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