In today’s new Chef’s Choice recipe, Head Chef Chris Bratt-Rose shares the secret on the perfect Christmas cake this festive season…
225G SOFT BROWN SUGAR
250G PLAIN FLOUR
2 TEASPOON MIXED SPICE
1 TEASPOON CINNAMON
PINCH OF SALT
4 LARGE EGGS
50G GROUND ALMONDS
50G CHOPPED ALMONDS
JUICE AND ZEST ONE LEMON
2X ZEST OF ORANGE
3 TABLESPOONS OF MARMALADE
2 TABLESPOONS BLACK TREACLE
6 TABLESPOONS OF BRANDY
950G BRANDY SOAKED FRUIT
The cake is best made well in advance, so it has time to mature with lots of weekly ‘feeds’! However it’s still delicious after a couple of feeds…
• Cream the butter and sugar
• Whisk the eggs together and beat into the creamed butter and sugar bit by bit
• Sift the flour, spices, ground almonds and salt, then add to the cake batter and mix in.
• Mix in the chopped almonds, zests, juice, marmalade, black treacle and brandy.
• Place in a lined 8” tin (lined with 3 layers of greaseproof paper) bake at 140°c for 3-3.5 hours.
• After the first 30 mins cover the top of the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper.
• Once cooked (an inserted knife blade come out ‘clean’), leave to cool in the tin for 45mins, then remove and finish cooling.
• Remove the paper from the top of the cake and make several small holes in the top with a knife and ‘feed’ the cake with drizzles of brandy, repeat this once a week.
• The day before you are planning to serve the cake, remove the lining paper and decorate in your preferred way – suggestions: marzipan and royal or fondant icing or glazed fruit and nut topping, with an apricot glaze.