Easi­est-ever Christ­mas cake

No soak­ing re­quired – this re­ally is the sim­plest Christ­mas cake recipe you could ever wish for. Sim­ply boil and bake!

Prima (UK) - - What’s Inside -

Bake and dec­o­rate next month!

CUTS INTO 16 SLICES PREP 15min, plus cool­ing and ma­tur­ing COOK 2hr 15min

• 175g (6oz) un­salted but­ter, plus ex­tra to grease

• 500g (1lb 2oz) each raisins and sul­tanas

• 100g (3½oz) each ready-to-eat prunes, nat­u­ral glacé cher­ries and stem gin­ger, chopped

• Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

• 150ml (¼ pint) Amaretto, plus ex­tra to feed

• 175g (6oz) dark brown mus­co­v­ado sugar

• 100g (3½oz) blanched al­monds, very roughly chopped

• 200g (7oz) self-rais­ing flour

• 1tsp each mixed spice and ground cin­na­mon

• ½tsp each ground cloves and ground all­spice

• 3 medium eggs, beaten

1 Pre­heat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan) mark 2. Grease then line the base and sides of a 20.5cm (8in) deep round cake tin with bak­ing parch­ment.

2 Put all the dried fruit and stem gin­ger into a very large pan with the lemon zest and al­mond liqueur. Bring the mix­ture to the boil, then cook on a medium heat for 5min. Add the but­ter and sugar and heat gen­tly to melt, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally to help dis­solve the sugar.

3 Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for 5min. Stir in the al­monds, flour, spices and beaten eggs and mix well. Im­me­di­ately pour the mix­ture into the pre­pared tin and level the sur­face (there’s no need to make a dip in the mix­ture).

4 Bake the cake for 1hr 45min to

2hr, or un­til a skewer in­serted into the cen­tre comes out clean. Cover the cake with foil if it is brown­ing too quickly.

5 Leave the cake to cool com­pletely in the tin. When cool, re­move from the tin (leav­ing on the parch­ment pa­per). Wrap a few lay­ers of cling­film around the cake in its pa­per, then cover with foil. Store in an air­tight con­tainer in a cool place. Af­ter two weeks of ma­tur­ing, prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and pour over 1tbsp al­mond liqueur. Re-wrap and store as be­fore.

We have a won­der­ful ic­ing idea for your cake next month...

FEED­ING YOUR CAKE The Christ­mas cake will keep for up to three months stored in this way. It can be fed with more al­mond liqueur ev­ery week, if you like – although if you pre­fer a less sweet and boozy cake, ev­ery few weeks is fine.

COOK’S TIP Chill the dried fruit in the fridge first be­fore you make your cake – you’ll find it much eas­ier to chop.

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