I can’t think of a better Advent Calendar than letting your Christmas cake soak up a tot or two of brandy on a daily basis – of course you will need a cake to do so. Traditionally, Christmas cakes are preserved for a year to mature for the next Christmas, however; they don’t usually last a whole year in my household due to those constant, “Just one small piece tonight and that’s it!” So this year my mom and I baked two Christmas cakes two and a half months ago and we managed to save one, today I iced the cake.
Ingredients: For both cakes
• 1 Cup sugar
• 1 Cup water
• 2 2⁄3 Cups mixed fruit (Safari Cake Mix – it works best in my opinion)
• 1⁄3 Cup mixed zest
• 1⁄3 Cup glace cherries
• 1⁄3 Cup slivered almonds
• 1⁄2 Teaspoon nutmeg
• 1⁄2 Teaspoon cinnamon
• 1⁄2 Teaspoon mixed spice
• 1⁄2 Cup butter
• 1 Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 1 Cup self raising flour
• 1 Cup all-purpose flour
• 2 Beaten eggs
For the icing (For one cake)
- 1 Egg white
- 3 Cups of icing sugar
- 2 Drops of almond essence
- 1/2 A teaspoon of gelatin dissolved in 3 teaspoons of water
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the sugar, water, fruit, zest, glace cherries, almond, spices, soda and butter into a large pot.
- Bring to the boil while stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat when it reaches the boil, and allow to cool for five minutes.
- Add the beaten egg, sifted flours and pour into a prepared tin -greased about 20 cm in diameter and 7 cm in depth round cake tin.
- Bake for 1 hour, allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.
- Beat the egg white separately until white peaks are observed, add the almond essence and dissolved gelatin to the egg white then beat in the icing sugar, it will be rather thick – it must be spread over the cake with gentle haste because it forms a crisp layer.
I hope you enjoy this festive baking process as much as I did.
PS : Don’t ice the cake until you’re ready to serve it, perhaps only a day in advance.