Cowart's Common Room
Christmas Cake

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a recipe for a light Christmas cake - not a dark cake as Christmas cakes usually are - but a light, honey-coloured one, topped with almonds, though there isn't any reason why you shouldn't put marzipan on top instead and Royal icing and the usual electric village with santas, elves, pine trees and wheelbarrows full of presents.

But I've lost the recipe! Sad I think maybe it might have been in The Times but I have no idea in whose article it was and so can't look it up. Though I suppose I could try searching on 'Christmas Cake.' Hold on! Now, 'New Window' and, there we are. Or rather there something is - but seeing as there is no longer the appetising photograph I can't be quite sure. Anyway I've put the recipe in the comments and should anyone know any better (or any better cake) please advise.

Posted at 26th Nov 2009 - 08:54PM   Posted by Fennie   Christmas Cake Comments: 5

Fennie's Avatar My family love this cake because it is so lovely and moist and light, unlike more traditional dark cakes, which are matured for months and can be a bit heavy, especially after the Christmas meal.

350g red or natural glacé cherries

225g can pineapples in natural juice

350g ready-to-eat dried apricots

100g blanched almonds

Finely grated rind of 2 lemons

350g sultanas

250g self-raising flour

250g caster sugar

250g softened butter

75g ground almonds

5 large eggs

To decorate

Blanched almonds

Red or natural glacé cherries

Glace pineapple (available from health-food shops)

100g sifted icing sugar

1 Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Grease a 23cm deep, round cake tin and line base and sides with a double layer of baking parchment.

2 Cut the cherries into quarters, put in a sieve and rinse under running water; drain well. Drain and roughly chop the pineapples, then dry these and the cherries very thoroughly on kitchen paper. Snip the apricots into pieces and roughly chop the almonds. Place the prepared fruit and nuts in a bowl with the grated lemon rind and sultanas and mix together gently.

3 Measure the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for 1 minute until smooth. Lightly fold in the fruit and nuts, then turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Level the surface and decorate the top with blanched whole almonds, halved glacé cherries and pieces of glacé pineapple.

4 Bake for about 21/4 hours or until golden brown ­ a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean when it is ready. Cover loosely with foil after 1 hour to prevent the top becoming too dark. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack. Mix the icing sugar with a little water and drizzle over the cake to glaze.

Posted by: Fennie on 26th Nov 2009 at 08:55PM

Fennie's Avatar I forgot the author, didn't IEmbarassed Had to go and look her up again.

Mary Berry.

Posted by: Fennie on 26th Nov 2009 at 08:57PM

Frances's Avatar Fennie, I am going to try to remember to print this recipe out for my brother, who is visiting with our mom this Thanksgiving holiday. Mom's been baking our grandmother's fruitcake recipe for decades, and now my brother is getting the baton pass.

(He is the practicing baker in our generation.)


Posted by: Frances on 26th Nov 2009 at 11:48PM

Camilla's Avatar Oh thank you Fennie, love this recipe, I will print it out for future use.

I remember watching Mary Berry on the TV many years ago when my children were small when we lived in London. She had her own cookery slot on in the afternoons.


Posted by: Camilla on 27th Nov 2009 at 01:29AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Soooo envious of you having Xmas cake - we just don't have it here cos no-one but me likes it, or Xmas pudding here . . . think I'll go and have Xmas cake envy in that corner over there.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 27th Nov 2009 at 09:57AM

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