160g unsalted butter, softened + bit more for greasing
3 medium eggs
1 orange, zest of finely grated
1 x 20cm loose bottomed round cake tin (7cm deep)
Ready… Steady… Bake…
TO MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS CAKE...
Preheat your oven to 140°C / Fan 120°C / Gas Mark 2.
Grease and double-line the base and sides of your loose bottomed tin with baking parchment, then make a ‘lid’ out of another double layer of parchment by cutting a slightly larger circle than your tin. Snip around the edges of the ‘lid’ so it sits neatly inside the tin, fold in half then half again then snipoff the tip to make a hole for the steam to escape, open out flat then set aside.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then add the grated zest and mix together thoroughly.
Sift the flour and mixed spice together then fold into the mix.
Add the fruit mix and pecans then fold
Spoon the mix into your prepared tin, smooth the top then cover with the set aside ‘lid’ whilst ensuring the ‘lid’ doesn’t touch the cake mix.
Bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for 2½-3 hours. To test if it’s cooked simply insert a skewer into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean then it’s cooked.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 1 hour then remove from the tin then place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating (or wrapping for storage).
If you’re decorating it later... remove the baking parchment then wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper, then followed by a single layer of tin foil. Store in a cool dry place until ready to decorate.
To decorate your Christmas Cake...
Turn your cake over so you get a flat surface from the base to decorate on.
Dust your worktop with icing sugar then roll out the marzipan into a circleslightly bigger than the cake and approximately 5mm thick. Use your bottom from your tin as a guide then cut to size.
Warm the apricot jam in a jug of hot water then brush evenly over the top of the cake, layer with the marzipan sliding gently into place.
Roll out the icing (in the same way as you did for the marzipan) then see PDF attached for more detail on how to create the twisted icing effect.
Or simply brush the cake with a little water then place the icing on top ofthe cake and decorate as required not forgetting the gold malt balls!