This year I fancied making a Christmas Cake with a difference, in previous years I have tried a chocolate fruit cake (very good Nigella recipe), a boil and bake fruit and mincemeat cakes as well as the more traditional style. As I love Italian food I thought I would make a cake with Italian flavours, think Amaretto, panettone et al. It became a golden cake as I manged to purchase some golden raisins, this fired my imagination to create a golden fruit cake.
On Stir up Sunday I made this cake alongside a tweet up with the National Trust and lots of other cakey bakey people. As you can see from the picture the cake is lighter in colour than a normal Christmas fruit cake, I will now store the cake for a couple of weeks, lovingly feeding it with Amaretto until its time to decorate. My plans this year are for a naked Christmas cake, filled with Golden Marzipan and topped off with more Golden marzipan and fondant with some simple decorations.
What you need
- 300g Golden Raisins
- 300g Sultanas
- 100g dried figs (chopped and any hard stalks removed)
- 100g apricots (chopped)
- 150ml Amaretto
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 125g butter (softened) or baking margarine if you want diary free
- 200g Light brown sugar
- 2 eggs - free range
- 200g Self raising flour
- 75g Honey
- 2 tsp mixed spices
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 130g candied orange peel - chopped (buy quality)
- 1/2 tsp Aroma Panettone Essential Oil (Bakery Bits)
I used an 8" double lined round loose bottomed cake tin, I also wrapped the outside with more greaseproof paper (you could use card, brown paper or even newspaper also), tied with string.
What you do
- Place all the dried fruit and orange zest in a large bowl with the amaretto to soak overnight (if you forget you can microwave for a few minutes and allow to cool), covered with clingfilm.
- Preheat the oven to 130c fan / 150c normal and prepare your tin
- In a stand mixer blend the butter and sugar until light an fluffy
- Gradually add the eggs, essential oil and vanilla to the mixer, if in danger of curdling add some of the flour
- Next whisk in the honey and then sieve in the flour and spices
- Fold the flour and dried fruit into the mixture until thoroughly mixed, spoon into the prepared tin.
- Smooth the top and place in the oven
- Bake for 2 hrs 30 minutes to 3 hrs 15 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Mine took about 3 hours in a fan oven
- Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack, remove from tin whilst still a little warm. Store when cold double wrapped in parchment and clingfilm.
- Remember to feed by pricking the cake lightly and spooning over more amaretto.
I plan another post when its time to decorate, so make sure you follow us for an update in a few weeks.