I do like baking and every year I like to make my own Christmas Cake. It’s a very British tradition and everyone has their own recipes, ideas passed down generations and decorations. I’m a lazy baker though and like to keep things as simple as possible. I enjoy baking but really can’t be bothered if something has 15 ingredients and takes hours or prep and cooking time – I mean who has the time for that? So here’s my simple Christmas cake.
Well let’s start with the simple ingredients needed:
1 kg dried mixed fruit (I bought 2x500g mixed dried fruit boxes from FairPrice)
600ml (2.5 cups) of apple juice or 2 cups of apple juice and 1/2 cup of alcohol of your choice. I chose Chocolate Orange Jaffa Cake liqueur from M&S.
265g (2 cups) of Self raising flour (I used Prima from FairPrice)
Jam or golden syrup (Fairprice)
Marzipan (ready to roll) (Cold Storage has it)
Fondant icing (ready to roll) (Cold Storage stock this too)
Mix the fruits with the apple juice / alcohol and leave overnight in the fridge. the next day mix in the flour. Pour into a greased and lined 23cm cake tin. Bake at 160C fan oven for about an hour until springy to the touch on top. Remove from oven to cool completely.
Marzipan and Icing
There are so many recipes and videos about using apricot jam for the adhesive for the marzipan. Who has the time to boil it, strain it, cool it ready to use effectively as a glue?! Not me that’s for sure. I used golden syrup (FairPrice again).
Knead the marzipan for about 30 seconds before rolling it out so it won’t crack. Roll it out bigger than your cake so it will completely cover the sides. Cover your cake with golden syrup, sides too. Lay over the marzipan and gentle smooth over the cake and sides, cutting off an excess at the bottom.
Knead the icing and roll out bigger than your cake again. Brush apple juice or alcohol on the marzipan and then lay over the icing, smoothing down the sides as before and cutting off any excess.
Some artistic people are able to create fabulous decorations from the excess marzipan and icing. Others have family heirloom decorations for the cakes. It went to Daiso and bought some. They look great.
Your Christmas cake is ready to eat and enjoy with friends (max 5 remember folks!) over the Christmas period. It will keep for up to one month but if you can’t eat it all you can wrap it in film and foil and freeze it for up to 3 months – but really – get eating it with friends and neighbours.