Chef’s Choice: Christmas Cake!

In today’s new Chef’s Choice recipe, Head Chef Chris Bratt-Rose shares the secret on the perfect Christmas cake this festive season…

INGREDIENTS:

Head Chef, Chris Bratt-Rose

Head Chef, Chris Bratt-Rose

225G BUTTER
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

METHOD:

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.

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