Recipe, food and prop styling Felicity Barnum-Bobb
Photo Stuart West
If you are looking for a moist and moreish celebration cake – this is THE ONE! The secret to making this SO good is drenching the dried fruit in a really generous amount of booze – and ideally leaving it to macerate together for a while for a jar. So get soaking the fruit now! Use what you have at home – sweet sherry, dark rum, brandy and ginger wine all work well. (You can leave it to macerate for 1 day to 1 month.)Then half the fruit is blitzed to a puree before folding it into the cake mixture. It’s got heaps of spice too, which makes it really special. Cooked in my fave shape -a ring, so there’s no chance of a soggy middle! Decorated simply with just a drizzling of fondant icing and a sprinkling of edible Christmas sparkle.
300ml Pedro Ximenez sweet sherry
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon or orange
500g dried mixed fruit (sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed citrus peel)
250g unsalted butter
250g dark muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
1tbsp ground mixed spice
1tbsp vanilla extract
225g fondant icing sugar
3 Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for several minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs.
4 Sieve in the flour and mixed spice, and tip in but o not mix in. Spoon in the whole fruit, fruit puree add the vanilla extract, then fold everything together.
5 Spoon into the greased ring mould or tin and smooth over. Bake for 1 hour 15 mins. Ovens vary – so check that the cake is ready by inserting a skewer in the centre, if it comes out clean it is ready. If any mixture is left on the skewer, continue to cook for 10-30 more mins, then leave to cool in the tin.
6 To decorate Put the cake onto serving board. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add 2tbsp cold water, to make a thick pourable icing. Spoon into a plastic piping bag, and snip of the end. Randomly drizzle over the icing, then sprinkle with silver stars and edible glitter. The cake will keep for up to 2 weeks in a cool place in a sealed container.
I have long been a fan of a Caribbean inspired moist and boozy Christmas cake, since my sister in law shared her fave recipe many years ago. So I thought it would be good fun to share some of these that I have developed for the various different magazines have worked for. The basic cake is simular; I always use Billingtons Unrefined Sugar .
Check out these recipes and you’ll find some inspiring frostings variations.