Read about: Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
- 175g (6 oz) raisins
- 350g (12 oz) glace cherries, rinsed, thoroughly dried and quartered
- 500g (1lb 2oz) currants
- 250g (9oz) butter, softened
- 350g (12oz) sultanas
- 150ml (¼ pint) cherry, plus extra for feeding
- Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 250g (9oz) light muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 75g (3oz) blanched almonds, chopped
- 75g (3oz) self-raising flour
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- 1½ tsp mixed spice
Read about: Christmas Cake With Royal Icing
To finish and decorate Mary Berry’s Christmas cake:
- About 3 tbsp apricot jam sieved and warmed
- 675g shop-bought almond paste
- Icing sugar
- Packet royal icing mix to cover 23cm/9in cake
You should make this cake, at least, three weeks ahead of Christmas, for if eaten too early it’s flaky. If you don’t want to utilize alcohol, utilize the similar quantity of orange juice. Instead of covering with icing, you could brush warmed apricot jam over the cake, then place glace fruits and nuts on the peak.
Read about: Coolest igloo Christmas cake
- Put all the dried fruit in a pot, pour over the sherry and mix in the orange zest. Cover with a cover, and leave to soak for three days, stirring every day. Grease and line a 23cm (9in) deep round tin with a twice layer of greased greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 140ºC/Fan 120ºC/Gas Mark 1.
- Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, treacle and almonds into a big bowl and beat well. Put in the flours and mixed spice and mix thoroughly until blended. Mix in the soaked fruit. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
- Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 4-4½ hours or until the cake feels solid to the touch and is a rich golden brown. Check after 2 hours, and, if the cake is an ideal colour, cover with foil. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
- When it is chilly, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and feed with a little extra sherry. Wrap fully cold cake in a twice layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil and store in a cool place for up to 3 months, feeding at intervals with more sherry. (Don’t take away the lining paper when storing as this helps to keep the cake moist.)
- Garnish with almond paste and royal icing.
- To make the Christmas cake ahead: make the fruit and soak in sherry three days ahead – this is necessary to plump up and flavour the fruit. Make the cake and wrap as in stage 4. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months, following stage 4. You could also freeze the cake before decorating, for up to 3 months; defrost at room temperature.
Read about: Christmas cake
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