Add some sparkle and magic to your Christmas dinner! And wow your guests with spices, nuts, fruits, brandy, marzipan, chocolate, and a dusting of gold.
Magical Spiced Christmas Cake
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125g maple syrup
- 75ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
- 125g dark muscovado sugar
- pinch of salt
- 125g golden sultanas
- 3 tbsp chopped candied peel
- 50g dried cherries
- 50g dried apricots, chopped
- 50g skinned hazelnuts
- 50g skinned almonds
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100ml almond milk
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 3 tbsp flax batter
For the coating:
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
- 400g marzipan
- 150g dark chocolate
- Edible gold dust
- Line a 20cm round deep-sided tin on the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160Fan.
- Measure out the dried fruit in a bowl and pour over the brandy to soak.
- Sieve the flour, ground ginger, mixed spice, baking powder into a bowl.
- Put the maple syrup, rapeseed oil, sugar and salt into a pan, warm over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Add the sultanas, candied peel, cherries, chopped apricots, whole hazelnuts and almonds. Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir well. Mix the almond milk, brandy and flax batter in. Pour the mixture into the flour and mix really well. The mixture should start rising as the baking powder reacts.
- Pour the mixture straight away into the cake tin and bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then tip out on to a sheet of greaseproof paper to finish cooling.
- When cool pierce the cake all over with a skewer. Spoon over the brandy. You can wrap it up in foil and leave to mature in a cool place for a day or two.
- To decorate, roll out the marzipan to 2mm thick large enough to cover the cake. Brush the cake with a little apricot jam, then cover the cake in the marzipan, folding and pinching it around the sides, trimming off the excess. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill the marzipan before covering with chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, allow to cool slightly until the chocolate is thicker, then pour it over the cake letting it run down the sides in drips (the thicker the chocolate is the better the drips will look. Place in the fridge to set the chocolate. To decorate, sprinkle edible gold dust all over the cake.
Tips: Flax seed batter is an egg replacer, to make flax batter use yellow flax seed, grind up to a powder in a spice grinder and then mix with water to a custardy consistency.
For general cakes using 2 or 3 eggs, grind 3 tbsp flax seeds until powdered and mix with 9 tbsp water to make a batter.