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Seasonal Recipe

Jewelled Christmas Cake

This cake, with its decorative fruit topping, glistens like the jewels in a crown and
definitely deserves centre stage on the Christmas tea table.

More seasonal recipes are available on My WI.

Serves 18
Preparation time: 30 minutes + overnight soaking + cooling
Cooking time: 2–21⁄4 hours

175g glazed Pineapple,chopped
175g mixed dried Cherries (red, green and yellow), halved
125g dried Apricots, chopped
50g Candied Peel or Citron Peel, chopped by hand
125g Sultanas
25g Crystallised Ginger, chopped
6 tbsps White rum
225g Butter
225g unrefined light Caster Sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g SR Flour
75g Brazil Nuts, chopped
100g Ground Almonds


To decorate
Apricot Jam
Nuts, Glacé and Dried Fruits, e.g.Glacé Cherries, Stem Ginger,
Candied Citrus Peel
Ribbon to tie around the cake


Method

  1. Soak all the fruit, along with the ginger, in the rum overnight.
  2. Grease and line a 20 cm round or an 18 cm square
    cake tin. (For method see below.)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs
    gradually, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and fold in
    carefully. Stir in the soaked fruit with the Brazil nuts and ground almonds.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, making sure that it is pushed well
    into the corners, then level the surface. Dip a tablespoon in boiling water,
    then rub the back of the spoon over the mixture to make it smooth.
  5. Bake for 2–21⁄4 hours in the oven at Gas Mark 2/150°C/fan oven 130°C
    until it is golden brown and firm to the touch. Insert a skewer into the
    centre and, if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. When
    completely cold, remove from the cake from the tin. Peel off the baking
    parchment and rewrap the cake in paper and foil or store in an airtight tin.
    The cake can be left to mature for up to 4 weeks before decorating.

Lining the cake tin

You need to use two sheets of greaseproof paper or baking parchment.

  1. Lightly oil the inside of the tin. Cut out a strip of paper about 2.5 cm
    longer than the outside of the tin and 5 cm wider.
    (Measure using string). Fold in about 2 cm along the long edge.
    Then make diagonal cuts along the folded edge at 2.5 cm
    intervals. Fit inside the tin with the folded edge sitting flat on the base.
    If you have a square    tin fit the paper tightly into the corners.
  2. Place the tin on two sheets of paper and draw around the base. Cut two
    pieces of paper to fit snugly into the base of the tin.
  3. Before baking, tie some thick brown paper or newspaper around the
    edge of the tin so that it comes above the tin by about 10 cm.

To decorate

Brush the top of the cake with sieved apricot jam. Arrange your choice of
fruit on the top in an attractive pattern and use more apricot jam to glaze
the top of the fruit. Tie a ribbon around the middle of the cake.

Tips

To prevent your cake from sinking, never open the oven door until at
least half the cooking time has elapsed.

Freezing not recommended.

This recipe comes from the Women's Institute Complete Christmas, a book by Sian Cook and Margaret Williams published by Simon Schuster in 2010, ISBN 978-0-85720-028-0 priced  £12.99.

For a complete list of other books please send a sae to WIE 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY