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Christmas Cake

It's that time of year again! I love all the festivities, food & fun of Christmas & I am just starting to get into it by baking our Christmas cake so I thought I would share the recipe with you. The photo above is of last years half eaten cake ha ha.

800g mixed dried fruit
75g glace cherries cut in half
200ml brandy
300g plain flour
I t ground cinnamon
A little freshly grated nutmeg
125g ground almonds
150g softened unsalted butter
150g dark muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
I t cocoa powder
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
6t apricot jam
450g marzipan
900g ready-to-roll fondant icing

· Soak the glace cherries in the brandy for 24-48 hours.
· Lightly grease the cake tin & line with greaseproof paper.
· Sift the flour with the cinnamon, a pinch of salt & a little nutmeg.
· Whisk the butter until creamy & add sugar gradually until light and fluffy.
· Beat in the eggs & add the flour mixture & almonds, then the fruit and its liquid.
· Add the cocoa and bicarbonate of soda.
· Bake at 150°C for 1hr.
· Wrap in greaseproof paper and foil, and store in a cool, dry place. Every week for the first four weeks, prick the base of the cake and spoon 1t brandy over the top. For the last two weeks, leave to dry.
· 5 To decorate the cake, warm half the apricot jam and spread thin layer over the top and sides.
· Position marzipan over the top of the cake, press down lightly, and trim any excess. Cover with greaseproof paper and leave in a cool, dry place for two days.
· Warm the remaining jam and spread over the marzipan. Cover the cake with white icing as with the marzipan.

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