Don’t fret if planning ahead isn’t your thing, there’s still time to make a Christmas cake for the 2016 festive season. Working with Booths, our BOSS Creative Angela Boggiano created this easy recipe for a last minute Christmas cake, just as delicious and gluten free. See Angela’s full profile here.
‘The Last Minute Christmas Cake was devised for those who, like me, try to be organised around Christmas but just don’t quite manage to fit everything in. This cake is the answer as it has all the flavour and moist texture of a rich fruit cake but can be made last minute.
Booths have a fantastic selection of dried fruits from cranberries to soured cherries, mixed fat juicy raisins, dates, figs and apricots . I have utilised them in this cake which is also made using spelt flour to make it Gluten free. The simple decoration is really effective but takes minutes to achieve.’
Serves 8 – 10
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 3 1/2 hours
700g mixed dried fruits such as cranberries, soured cherries, raisins, sultanas, currants and dried dates, figs or apricots
175g glace cherries
150ml dark rum
grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
250g butter, softened
175g light Muscovado sugar
4 large free range eggs
250g spelt flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate soda
2tsp ground mixed spice
50g ground almonds
100g pecan nuts
For the decoration
2tbsp apricot jam
250g natural marzipan
1tbsp icing sugar plus extra for dusting
450g pack ready rolled fondant icing
4 sprigs rosemary
1. Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm loose bottomed cake tin.
2. Place the dried fruit, cherries, rum and zest and orange juice into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
3. Preheat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and using a hand held electric whisk beat together until pale then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and bicarbonate soda with a pinch of salt then add the mixed spice and ground almonds and stir until well combined.
4. Stir in the cooled fruit and pecan nuts and then spoon into the prepared tin. Level the surface and bake for 3 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes then take out and cool on a rack.
5. For the decoration transfer the cake to a serving plate or board. Place the apricot jam in a small saucepan and add a few tablespoons of water and heat gently. Brush the hot jam over the top of the cake. Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar to a round disk to fit the top of the cake .
6. Unroll the fondant icing and cut out a circle about 10cm larger than the top of the cake and drape over the top to give a snow scene effect. Arrange the rosemary sprigs on the cake as Christmas trees using a little extra fondant to secure them onto the top of the cake. Finish off with a light dusting of icing sugar all over the top of the cake and on the rosemary.