Christmas with Stanley - Christmas Cake
There are many recipes for the classic Christmas cake. This recipe is taken from our ‘Cook with Stanley’ cookbook authored by Eunice Power from Powersfield House, Dungarvan. If you enjoy a traditional rich fruit cake for Christmas it will need about a month to mature, so try to make it this weekend. If you don’t get a chance to use it over Christmas, is a wonderful treat to look forward to with a cup of tea in the New Year.
This recipe was created for cooking on a Stanley Brandon cast iron cooker so you will need to tailor this to your own conventional, fan or gas ovens. With double ovens and hotplates that offer every function you need to indulge your passion for good food over the holidays, the Stanley Brandon really comes into its own over the festive season.
Stanley Christmas cake
This is a deliciously rich traditional Christmas cake recipe and the Stanley’s even heat ensures that it is mouthwateringly moist.
Line a 10 inch/25cm round cake tin or a deep 9 inch/23 cm square, with greaseproof paper. Heat oven to 140°C. Weigh the currants, sultanas, raisins, cherries and mixed peel into a bowl and pour over the whiskey and soak overnight. Sieve together the flour, mixed spice and ground nutmeg. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat together using a wooden spoon until well mixed (about 5 minutes). Place the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a wet tablespoon.
Bake in the pre heated Stanley for 5–6 hours. Check at intervals after 3 hours, as ovens tend to vary slightly. Cover the cake with double greaseproof paper for the last 1–2 hours, to prevent the cake from becoming too brown on top. Test the cake carefully using a skewer before removing (when the skewer comes out clean the cake is fully cooked).
Leave the cake to cool in the tin overnight, turn out and remove the papers, and then wrap when completely cold in double greaseproof paper, then in foil and store in a cool dry place
Ingredients Christmas cake
- 12oz/350g butter at room temperature
- 12oz/350g dark brown sugar
- 1lb/450g currants
- 12oz/350g sultanas
- 12oz/350g raisins
- 5oz/150g glacé cherries, halved
- 5oz/150g mixed cut peel
- 5oz/150g chopped almonds
- Grated rind of 2 lemons
- Grated rind of 1 orange
- 15oz/425g plain flour
- 1½ level teaspoons mixed spice
- ½ level teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3oz/75g ground almonds
- 7 medium size free range eggs
- 3 tablespoons of whiskey
To Decorate the Cake:
- Place the cake on a foil board or cake plate.
- Dust your hands and the work surface with a little icing sugar and knead the marzipan until soft.
- Roll out half the marzipan to fit the top of the cake and roll out the rest in strips to fit around the sides of the cake.
- Brush the cake all over with the warmed apricot jam and then place the marzipan on top and around the cake.
- Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place for at least one day.
- To make the icing, lightly whisk the egg whites adding the sugar at intervals. Beat well until the icing reaches soft peaks. Add the glycerine if using and the lemon juice.
- Spread icing all over cake either flat iced using a clean ruler or by forming soft peaks. Decorate with Christmas ornaments.
Ingredients to decorate the cake
- 200g/7oz marzipan
- 1-2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
- Royal Icing
- 3 egg whites
- 600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sieved
- 11/2tsp liquid glycerine - optional
- 1 tbsp lemon juice