Of course, you could make the cake earlier, bearing in mind that it keeps for up to 6 weeks, but I tend to make this only a week before Christmas because then I can eat it throughout January. It isn’t a traditional rich, mature cake.
It’s light and moist and you could easily eat it without adornment, but over the next two days, I’ll post on how to marzipan and ice it with least effort.
QUICK CHRISTMAS CAKE
Christmas Cake on a glass plate waiting to be decorated
A light, moist Christmas Cake that you can make on Christmas Eve and will keep for 6 weeks.
You will need:
Sa 20cm round, deep baking tin
a baking parchment liner to fit
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Yield: 12 slices
200g glace cherries
50g candied orange peel
zest of 2 unwaxed oranges OR
2 teaspoons (10ml) orange extract
250g light brown sugar
275g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) baking powder
2 teaspoons (10ml) mixed spice
Pinch of salt
125g ground almonds INTRUCTIONS Preparation:
Wash, dry and halve the cherries ‘Revive’ the dried fruit:
Put the cherries and raisins in a dish with the brandy
Heat in the microwave on MEDIUM for 3 minutes in total, stirring once or twice
Heat on HIGH for 30 seconds
Leave to stand for 30 minutes if possible
Set the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 4
Line the base of the tin with a parchment liner.
Grease the sides (if it needs it) with butter paper (or a little butter on kitchen paper)
Finely chop the candied peel
Zest the oranges, if using FOR THE CAKE:
Put all the ingredients. except the fruit and peel, into a mixer or processor and mix well
Sugar, butter, eggs, plain flour, baking powder, spice, salt, ground almonds, orange zest or extract
Stir in the dried fruit and chopped candied peel and excess brandy
Spoon into the cake tin and level the top with the back of the spoon
Make a slight depression in the middle to get a flatter top when it’s cooked
Cook for 1 hour and test with a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is done otherwise cook for 10-15 minutes longer
Take the cake out of the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool
If you aren’t going to ice the cake immediately, leave the liner on, wrap it in baking parchment and put in an airtight container until you need it.