Christmas Cake

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 135 mins
Serves: 8

Diet: Gluten and Wheat Free

Cuisine: British

Type: Treats

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This deliciously moist Christmas cake is packed with mixed dried fruit, spices and alcohol. No one would ever know it was gluten and wheat free, so you don’t need to make two. Serve this to everyone and wait for the positive comments to come flooding in! Don’t just make it for Christmas, it’s too good! Ideally this cake needs to be made 1 month beforehand, although it is not imperative to do so. Feeding the cake weekly with brandy will ensure you have a very rich, deliciously and moist cake.

Ingredients

  • 225g currants
  • 225g raisins
  • 50g glacé cherries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 2 tbsp brandy or 2tbsp juice of the zested orange
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • Zest of one lemon - grated
  • Zest of one orange - grated
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 150g gluten and wheat free plain flour (I use Doves Farm)
  • 125g unsalted butter - softened
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Brandy for ‘feeding’
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 200g ready rolled marzipan
  • 500g ready rolled fondant icing

Method

Grease and line a 20cm/8" deep, round cake tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 150° C, 130° C fan, Gas mark 2.

Weigh out the dried fruit, cherries, mixed peel and nuts in a bowl and tip in the brandy or juice, whatever you are using, and allow these to absorb the liquid.

Put the butter and sugar into another large mixing bowl and beat together until light and creamy - I use an electric hand whisk.

Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, ensuring each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the mixed spice, the lemon and orange zest and mix well.

Next stir in the dried fruit, nuts, dried peel and cherries, followed by the flour, with a large metal spoon.

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, pushing it down carefully with the back of the spoon and levelling the top.

Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven for 2 - 2 hours 15 minutes. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 12 hours or overnight.

When completely cool, wrap the cake in a double layer of tin foil and then place it in a tightly sealed cake tin. Each week I feed the cake with 2 tbsp of brandy. Using a skewer, prick the cake over the surface, so that the brandy can soak in. Continue this each week until you are ready to ice the cake.

Warm the apricot jam and spread it over the cold cake. Carefully lift the ready rolled marzipan onto the cake, pressing and shaping it with a pallet knife so that the top and sides of the cake are completely covered. Trim away any excess. Leave the cake for at least 12 hours for the marzipan to set.

Carefully lift the ready rolled fondant icing and lay it over the marzipan, pressing and shaping it again with a pallet knife. Trim away any excess.

Wrap the cake in greaseproof paper and then a double layer of tin foil before storing it in an airtight container where it will keep for several weeks.

The cake can then be decorated with a ribbon and your choice of decorations.