Sunday, 8 December 2013

A new Christmas bake for me!

As you probably know by now, I love to bake. I also love to try new things or things I have never made before. Basically I like to step outside of my comfort zone and enjoy a challenge in the kitchen!

A couple of weeks ago I read a recipe for an easy Christmas cake, I really didn't realise how easy it could be! So I adapted the recipe to my preferences and yesterday I made my very first Christmas cake! 

Ingredients:

200g unsalted butter
200g dark brown sugar
4 eggs
225g plain flour
500g mixed dried fruit
500g sultanas
Approx 750ml apple juice

For the icing

1 pack (approx 450g) white marzipan
1 pack (approx 450g) ready to roll white icing
Sprinkling of icing sugar
1 Tablespoon apricot glaze

Method:

The day before I mixed the two bags of fruit together and poured the apple juice over until it was just covering. I stirred the fruit twice in 24 hours. You could use alcohol for this but decided to try it with juice!

I preheated the oven to 150 degrees and greased and lined a 19cm cake pan. 

Then (with a little help from Chester and Millie) I creamed together the butter and sugar.

                                     

Gradually adding the eggs and then folding in the flour. We then mixed in the fruit one spoonful at a time. Millie helping herself to the cherries along the way! 

                                     

I then poured the mix into the cake pan, filling it to the top and smoothing it over. I had a little mix left over, enough to make a taster cake. Would be rude not to don't you think?! 

                                     

I then popped in the oven for 3 hours. At around half way I covered the cake with baking paper to prevent the top from burning. 

When the cake came out of the oven, I left to cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so and then transferred to a wire cooling rack.

Whilst the cake was cooling we had a sneaky try of the taster cake, it was delicious! Packed full of fruit and flavour from the apple juice! 

Once the cake had completely cooled 2 or 3 hours later I rolled out the marzipan (on a sprinkling of icing sugar) until it was about half a cm thick. I heated the apricot glaze in a pan until it was boiling and then covered my cake in the glaze. I smoothed the marzipan over the cake and then rolled out my icing to the same thickness. 

                                    


I brushed the marzipan with some boiling water before laying the icing on top, working my way from the middle out wards smoothing it all out. I cut all of the excess off and tied a ribbon around the base. 

                                       

                                        

I wrapped the left over marzipan in cling film and put in the fridge to use later in the week. With the leftover icing I got my coloured food colour pastes out and got creative! I made some trees and then some snowflakes, with the snowflakes I also added edible glitter, this gives a lovely effect. 

All that was left to do now was to arrange the decorations on the cake....

                                      

                          

What do you think?! Not bad for my first attempt?! 

I have added my Christmas Cake to A Mummy Too's recipe of the week linky, you can find lots of other great cooking and baking ideas by clicking on the badge below! 

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