rich Christmas cake with royal icing Cooking time: 3½ - 4 hours
1 small tablespoon Golden Syrup or Black Treacle Grated rind of 1 Orange 700g (1½lb) ready made white Marzipan Apricot Jam (for spreading) 6. Add all the soaked fruit, orange rind and spoon into a 20cm (8") round tin or 18cm (7") square tin. Tie tin foil around the outside of the tin to prevent over browning. Bake at 325°F, 160°C, 140°C Fan or Gas Mark 3 for 3½ to 4 hours until a skewer put in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 7. When cold, pierce the cake with a fine skewer and feed with a little brandy. Wrap the cake in the same parchment paper and then a layer of foil to mature for several weeks. 8. A week before icing put the cake on a 25cm (10") cake board and level top. Use ready made white marzipan. Heat apricot jam and spread on the cake and round out marzipan to fit.
1. Begin the cake at least one day before baking. 2. Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water. Dry thoroughly on kitchen paper. 3. Snip apricots into small pieces. Measure all the dried fruit into a large bowl and mix in the brandy. Cover and leave overnight for the fruit to swell up. 4. Grease and line a tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the syrup or treacle if liked. 5. Mix flour, spices and ground almonds together and add to the butter and sugar, mix alternatively with the eggs.
1. Put the egg whites into a large bowl and whisk lightly with a fork until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Add half the icing sugar and the lemon juice, glycerin and beat well. Gradually stir in the remaining icing sugar until the correct consistency.
2. Smooth onto cake, you will need to give it 2 coats. Keep icing in an airtight container or cover with a damp cloth to prevent it drying out. 3. Pipe decoration of your own choice.
Royal Icing Ingredients: Buy “Instant” Royal Icing or make your own 2 Egg Whites 500g (1lb 2oz) Icing Sugar sifted 4 teaspoons Lemon Juice 1 teaspoon Glycerin