Wow, how time flies and it’s time to make the Christmas Cake again. I have been making this same Christmas Cake for ever, long before I was married.
This year I have decided to change everything. Firstly I’ve changed the decoration. They do not make Christmas Cakes in Greece so I cannot find new Christmas ornaments to put on my Christmas Cake. Last year my sister gave me this beautiful Angel which I think it is perfect for my cake.
I changed a few of the ingredients in the cake as well. I added different spoon sweets. Quince and cherries which were the only ones I had at home. I made a lemon peel marmalade which I made in the winter and still have. I removed most of the jam and kept the lemon peels. I added pineapple, craisins, pecans and pistachios. Finally I added a new spice for the first time in this cake: ginger. The other thing I did this year is that I wrapped the cake in cling film and had it in the refrigerator. Every 2 – 3 days, I unwrap the cake and wet it with cherry brandy. This was repeated 2 – 3 times until I added the first layer of lemon jam and then the frosting.
Before starting the cake, a few things have to be done first. The first thing is to dry the fruit we add in the cake. In Greece and Cyprus we preserve fruit in heavy syrup and we do this with a variety of fruit so we use 3- 4 different kinds such as cherries, oranges, bitter oranges green, bitter orange peel, citrus, bergamot, walnut, etc., any type you prefer. The fruit is placed in a strainer for 3 – 4 days so that the syrup is drained.
The almonds to be used in the frosting should also be blanched and left to dry for a few days
We wash out the syrup, strain them for 2 – 3 days and then cut them in small pieces. Otherwise use dried fruit.
I won’t add a lot of photographs this year as you may see the procedure in last year’s cake.
How about listening to some music while you are reading the ingredients and think a little of those who are less fortunate than we are. Happy Holidays!
Christmas Fruit Cake
- 170 grams butter
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar
- ½ cup of white sugar
- 2 cups of self raising flour
- 1/2 cup of cherry brandy
- 50 grams of sultana raisins
- 50 grams of craisins
- 1 cup of blanched almonds finely chopped
- 150 grams (about) 2 cups of dried spoon sweets or dried fruit (I used cherries, quince and lemon)
- 75 grams or 2 slices of dried pineapple
- 60 grams (about) 1 cup of pistachios
- 60 grams (about) 1 cup of pecans
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg.
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spices
- a pinch of salt
- lemon jam (without the peels)
Whisk the butter and sugar together until it’s light, pale and fluffy. Add eggs one by one and then add brandy. Sift the flour and add all the other ingredients to flour and mix well. Add to butter.
Line base of a buttered cake tin with parchment paper, and using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared 28 cm. diameter tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Pre-heat oven at 180o and bake the cake for about 1 hour or until after inserting a knife or a cocktail stick, it comes out dry and clean.
Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, and then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. Wrap with cling film and place in the refrigerator.
In a few days
In a few days, wet the cake with cherry brandy, wrap and refrigerate. Repeat after a few days.
Spread the lemon jam (without peels) on top of the cake and prepare almond paste (like marzipan).
200 gr. Almonds, blanched and grounded
250 gr. Frosting sugar
2 egg whites whipped
1 spoonful of lemon juice
1 spoonful of blossom or rose water
Blanch almonds and let them dry and grind them in any way you like but they must be really thin. Whip the eggs until frothy but you don’t have to make them into meringue. Sieve the frosting sugar and add the almonds as well as all the other ingredients and knead until a thick paste is formed. Spread the paste all over the cake with a knife and let it dry for two – three days.
2 -3 days later finish with Royal frosting.
2 egg whites lightly beaten
2 cups of sieved frosting sugar
1 spoonful of lemon juice
Sieve the sugar and add the vanillas.
Beat the egg whites until frothy.
Add sugar a spoonful at a time, as well as the lemon juice, mixing each time we add sugar until a nice thick cream is formed.
Add decorations before the frosting becomes hard.
We use this frosting not only because it gives a nice snowy look but it also keeps cake airtight and before we cut it, it can be preserved for a very long time.
When it dries, wrap in cellophane to keep dust away.