So as I mentioned in my last post I spent some of Sunday making a Christmas cake.
Sainsbury’s sent me the ingredients and the recipe (which is also here if you want to have a go)- soaking the fruits overnight is optional but I prefer that as they plump up so well. I used cherries in place of the dried cranberries, as I prefer that, but you could use any dried fruit you like.
Looks like a lot of butter but it made two good sized cakes
The first step was to melt the butter and sugar together with orange juice and zest, brandy and dried fruits. I always use this technique when making brownies- I much prefer it to creaming butter, so for me this wins hands down and I think I will use it with other fruit cake recipes from now on. Plus you just have one pan to wash up after.
Then you let it simmer for ten minutes- the raisins swelled up so much and the smell was just wonderful.
Then you add in the flour, ground almonds, nuts, spices and eggs. I was worried it would not all fit in my pan but luckily it did.
Instead of making one large cake I have made two smaller ones- I baked them for about 1 hour 40 (the recipe suggests 2 hours for one large cake)- until the skewer comes out clean.
The tops of the cakes are so shiny and they look lovely and rich.
This evening I covered them both in marzipan, and will add some icing decoration later in the week once the marzipan has dried.
I must say this is the easiest fruit cake recipe- melting it all in the pan was just so simple- it does the hard work for you- plus it filled the house with the smell of Christmas. Using a pack of mixed dried fruits adds to the ease- I had to chop up the figs but if you wanted to use just small fruits then it would work just as well. As you all know I love making things anyway, so would always choose this over a shop bought one, but I think that if you were making a hamper for someone you could make smaller ones of these (just reduce the time slightly- The Pink Whisk blog has some great tips for cooking times for different tins) and I promise that the recipe is suitable for the beginner baker.
Have I tempted you to make one yet?
*Sainsbury’s provided me with the ingredients to make the cake, but all opinions are my own.