Saturday, November 15, 2008

Time for Cake

I'm not a great fan of Christmas cake, I find it a bit too rich and I don't like marzipan or icing either. I wasn't going to make one at all this year until I was flicking through my copy of Nigella's 'Feast' (her best book IMO) and came across this recipe which is for a lighter cake that is later topped with glazed nuts and candied fruit. It's very simple to make, I substituted apricot jam for the chestnut puree and also used brandy rather than rum - both of these are suggested by Nigella herself. Don't skip on preparing the tin, you don't want the cake getting too dark around the edges.

Easy Light Christmas Cake (adapted from Nigella Lawson's Feast)
525g mixed dried fruit
250g glace cherries
175g unsalted butter
250g dark brown sugar
250g apricot jam
125ml brandy
juice and zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs, beaten
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • double line and grease a 10" square tin
  • put two layers of brown paper around the outside of the tin (secured with string), it should stand 3-4" proud of the tin
  • chop cherries in quarters and add to heavy pan along with the rest of the dried fruit
  • add the butter, sugar, jam, rum, orange juice and both zests
  • over a low heat stir until the butter has melted
  • bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins
  • remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 mins
  • preheat the oven to 150 deg C
  • sieve together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • lightly stir in the eggs and flour mix
  • pour into the prepared tin
  • bake for 1 3/4 - 2 hours, the cake is done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean
Once the cake has cooled completely wrap the cake in two layers of greaseproof paper followed by two layers of tinfoil.


Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

I've made this before and it was gorgeous and i'm not a christmas cake fan at all either!!! Very nice toasted with some butter aswell.

Anonymous said...

Ack, I have tried to make this every year and it is always just OK. I make it for my brother, and he sort of shrugs and says it's allright. Maybe I'll try a go at Nigella's.