Very Merry Christmas Cake
Very Merry Christmas Cake

Very Merry Christmas Cake

Full of the tastiest, richest Christmas ingredients: brandy, marzipan, cranberries and red wine, the title of this cake says it all! 

YIELDS

8-10

PREPARATION

2 HRS

COOKING

3.5 HRS

INGREDIENTS

  • 200ml port or fruity red wine
  • 1 medium orange (juiced & zested)
  • 2 level tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450g raisins
  • 225g dried cranberries
  • 110g prunes (roughly chopped)
  • 50g glacé cherries (halved, rinsed, dried & finely chopped)
  • 110g chopped candied peel
  • 50g blanched almonds (roughly chopped)
  • 250g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 110g Tate & Lyle Dark Soft Brown Sugar (Fairtrade)
  • 110g Tate & Lyle Light Muscovado Sugar (Fairtrade)
  • 50g Lyle’s Black Treacle
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ level tsp salt
  • 120ml brandy
  • 3 rounded tbsp. smooth apricot jam
  • Approx. 6 tbsp. Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar
  • 500g white marzipan
  • 500g Tate & Lyle Fondant Icing (white)

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120° Fan, 275°F, Gas Mark 1 with the shelf set on the middle.
  2. You will also need a 20cm (8”) round cake tin, greased and the base and sides lined with a double thickness of baking parchment, a 25.5cm (10”) round cake board, a snowflake plunger cutter set, ribbon and pins.
  3. Combine the port or wine, orange juice and zest, spice and vanilla in a pan. Bring to the boil, simmer for 3-4 minutes then add the raisins, cranberries, prunes, cherries, peel and nuts. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl cream the butter, Tate & Lyle Dark Soft Brown and Light Muscovado Sugars and the Lyle’s Treacle until soft.  Add the flour, the eggs one by one, and salt and mix well until smooth. Stir in the fruit mixture.
  5. Spoon into the tin, level the surface and make a gentle hollow in the middle. Bake for 3 ½ hours or until a fine skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.  
  6. Cool the cake for 30 minutes, turn out onto a rack to cool completely and peel off the paper. Poke holes in the cake with a fine skewer and drip 2 tablespoons of brandy over the top. Repeat every day until the brandy is used up. Wrap in foil in between and store in an airtight container.
  7. Transfer the cake to the board.
  8. Heat the jam and 1 tablespoon water in a pan for 2-3 minutes, then brush all over the cake.
  9. Roll out the marzipan on a surface dusted with Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar to slightly larger than the cake. Cover the cake and cut away the excess. One day later, repeat with the fondant.  
  10. Thinly reroll the excess fondant. Stamp out snowflakes with the plungers and leave to dry for 2 hours.
  11. Wind the ribbon around the base of the cake, cut to fit and secure with pins.
  12. Mix 1 tablespoon Tate & Lyle Icing Sugar with a drop of water to make a ‘glue’ and use to stick the snowflakes onto the cake.

CHEF'S TIP

Rub the dried fruit in a little flour before putting it into the mix - this helps the fruit stick to the cake batter, preventing it from sinking.