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Christmas lives within different moods in different countries. I like the simple style, with wood texture, red and white in Scandinavia, I like the spicy scents of Christmas markets in the east of France and I like crooners joyfully singing “It’s The Most Beautiful Time of the Year”.
But I love traditional English cakes too. I refer of course to the Christmas pudding but I will dedicate this small article to the great Christmas Cake. The long list of ingredients gave me the idea to offer you a to do list or shopping list printable. So I created a “Christmas cake” to do list.
But first let’s talk about this traditional cake. It is rich and deliciously classic with its coating of marzipan and its royal icing. One can imagine it on the table of an English aristocratic family in the way of the television series Downton Abbey. Usually it is best to prepare it 5 to 6 weeks in advance. Anyway, since we are all busy and it’s early December, 3 weeks ahead will be sufficient. Preparation, anticipation, again and again.
Today I will speak only of the cake in itself. You may want to come back later just before Christmas when I’ll finish it with marzipan and royal icing. As you can see, this is the perfect cake when it is cold outside. Nonetheless, it is best to spare it for Christmas.
- 4oz butter
- 4oz brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 5 cl white port
- A few drops of almond essence
- 1/2 of vanilla essence
- 4oz flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 4oz glacé candied (chopped in four or two)
- 2oz candied orange peel
- 1oz powdered almonds
- 1oz blanched almonds
- 4oz cranberries (It replaces here the usual currants)
- 4oz sultanas
- 4oz raisins
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar; in another bowl, mix together the flour, the baking powder, the salt and the spices. And finally eggs, almond and vanilla essence and port in another bowl.
Then gradually add the last two preparations with the butter and sugar mixture. Stir thoroughly. Then add all the fruits and almonds and mix thoroughly.
Line the tin two times. I like to give this cake a round shape (hence the design for my to do list). I chose a bowl-shaped tin with high edges. Press the preparation in the tin.
Bake for 1h / 1h30 at mark 2 at 300 °F.
Let cool before unmolding.
Carefully wrap in aluminum foil and store in a container.
You may want to come back at d-7 when I will place the marzipan around the cake. And in the meantime, here is the “Christmas cake” to do list (you can glu the sheets together in a notepad). Next time I will be sharing with you the “Christmas cake” gift wrap and assorted tags.