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Glazed Christmas Cake

Topped with fruit and nuts, this cake makes the perfect alternative to a traditional iced Christmas cake.

Image of Glazed Christmas Cake
Ingredients

Serves: 25-30

250 g (8 oz) sultanas
250 g (8 oz) currants
250 g (8 oz) raisins
125 g (4 oz) chopped dried mixed peel
250 g (8 oz) glacÚ cherries
60 g (2 oz) glacÚ pineapple
60 g (2 oz) dates
4 tablespoons brandy
60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate
250 g (8 oz) butter or margarine
155 g (5 oz) soft light brown sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon almond essence
2 teaspoons glycerine
2 teaspoons raspberry jam
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
250 g (8 oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
╝ teaspoon salt
Extra 2 tablespoons brandy

TO DECORATE

2 tablespoons apricot jam, boiled and sieved
A selection of whole nuts and red and green cherries


Method

1 Grease and line a 20 cm (8 in) round or square cake tin. Place sultanas, currants, raisins and mixed peel in a bowl. Cut cherries, pineapple and dates into small pieces with kitchen scissors and add to the bowl. Toss fruits together with the brandy. Cover and set aside overnight.


2 Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F/ Gas 2). Break chocolate into squares and put in a bowl. Stand over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Leave to cool. Beat butter or margarine in a large bowl until softened. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate, vanilla and almond essences, glycerine, raspberry jam and finely grated lemon rind and juice.


3 Sift together flour, mixed spice, ginger and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixure alternately with the soaked fruit, ending with flour. Mix ingredients together well.


4 Spoon mixture into the prepared tin and smooth top with back of a spoon. Lift tin and allow to drop on a flat surface to break up any air bubbles. Bake for 3-3½ hours, or until firm and a skewer, inserted into the centre comes out clean.


5 Remove from oven. Prick cake with a fine skewer and drizzle with the extra 2 tablespoons of brandy. Cool cake in tin on a wire rack, then turn cake out of tin. Wrap in several layers of greaseproof paper and then in a double thickness foil. Store in an airtight container.


6 When ready to decorate, brush top of cake with apricot jam and arrange nuts and cherries.

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