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Everyone has their favourite festive foods, but for me, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas cake. Many people don’t bother making one because they are far easier to buy, but let me tell you, there is nothing that compares to the taste of a home-made version.  I usually make mine about the end of September or beginning of October to give the flavours chance to meld and mature, but if you’ve not had chance this year, don’t worry.  Your home-made cake will still be delicious however late you make it, and everyone will thank you for the effort you’ve gone to.

I make this egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free version, because then everyone can have a slice, regardless of their dietary requirements.  (Not that I really want to share it, but still…)   Believe me, it may be simple, but the taste is out of this world.  And don’t be surprised if you have the world and his wife coming around once they smell the beautiful Christmas spices emanating from your kitchen!

FABULOUS ‘EVERYONE-CAN-EAT-IT’ CHRISTMAS CAKE

Ingredients

400 g Mixed Dried Fruits
100 g Glacé Cherries
100 g Mixed Peel
150 g Rice Flour
2 tsps Mixed Spice
1 Apple
150 g Brown Sugar
1 Orange –  Zest and Juice
125 g Sunflower Oil
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
75 ml Water
2 tbsps Apricot Jam
200 g Marzipan
1 Firm Banana
400 g Icing Sugar

Method

  1. Set the oven to 140 degrees C (fan – 120 degrees C) or gas mark 1.
  2. Put the dried fruits, cherries and mixed peel into a large bowl with the flour and mixed spice, and mix well.
  3. Grate the apple into another bowl.  Add the sugar, oil, grated orange rind and juice and beat together.
  4. Add the xanthan gum and water to the second bowl and mix well.
  5. Stir in the floured dried fruits.
  6. Line a deep grease proof lined 20cm/8″ cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  7. Press the cake mix into the lined tin and cover the top of the cake with another circle of greaseproof.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 3 hours.
  9. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
  10. Warm the jam slightly and spread it over the top and sides of the cake.
  11. On a floured surface roll out the marzipan into a 25cm/10” circle.
  12. Lift the marzipan onto the cake and gently press in place down the sides.
  13. Put the firm banana and icing sugar in an electric blender and mix into a stiff icing.
  14. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the icing.
  15. Add seasonal decorations.
  16. Eat and enjoy!
  17. Psssstttt…. goes particularly well with a cheeky glass of port (or two)!

 

 

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