32 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!
As the festive season is fast approaching, we should all be busy with gift shopping and decoration prepping - ready to entertain and enjoy the company of our friends and family. All these preparations take time but none as long as the wonderful Christmas cake!
A good traditional Christmas cake will necessitate patience and care to mature, this is why I think it is time we all hit the kitchen and start our marvellous cake with a twist!
The recipe below is for a Glencadam Christmas Cake with Glencadam Butter Icing
- 175g raisins
- 175g sultanas
- 175g ready-to-eat stoned dates, roughly chopped
- 150g natural glacé cherries, halved
- 100g ready-to-eat dried pears, roughly chopped (or use dried ready-to-eat apple)
- 75g crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped
- Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
- 250ml whisky
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g dark muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 200g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 150g walnut halves, toasted
- Fresh bay leaf sprigs, to decorate
- Fresh berries (if using frozen, thaw and pat dry), to decorate
For the whisky butter icing
- 450g golden icing sugar
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tbsp glucose syrup
- 3-4 tbsp whisky
- 1. Put the raisins, sultanas, dates, cherries, pears, ginger and lemon zest into a large bowl. Pour over the whisky, cover and leave to soak for 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has absorbed the liquid.
- 2. Grease the base and sides of a deep 20cm springform cake tin and line with a double thickness of baking paper, ensuring the paper sits higher than the tin. Weigh out 300g of the soaked fruit and tip into a food processor. Blend the fruit to a thick, dark purée.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Fold in the remaining flour, along with the fruit purée, remaining soaked fruit, golden syrup, allspice and walnuts, until combined. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for 2.30 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 1 hour, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
- 4. Make the whisky butter icing. Gradually beat the icing sugar into the butter, adding the glucose syrup and enough whisky as you go until the icing is smooth and spreadable. Spread over the top and sides of the cake, swirling it with a palette knife. Decorate with the bay leaves and berries to serve.
This cake can be conserved in a cake tin without the icing until Christmas. I always find that a little TLC is needed to keep it nice and moist – I find that injecting a little whisky into the cake with a pipette once a week will enhance the overall flavour of this marvellous Christmas Cake!
Be careful not to overdo the “pipetting” or it may be a VERY “MERRY” Christmas dessert!