Christmas is over a few months ago, I eventually managed to finish this post. May be still imperfect but I need to publish it before next Christmas is coming. So here it is....
My mother in law is famous for her Christmas cake. Every one loves it and will have a slice to eat in or to take home. It is always very good , but this year is exceptionally good in fact it was excellent. She use a new recipe, using vodka instead of brandy for soaking fruit as well as feeding the cake. It was very moist and light.
She made the cake a month before we arrived and feeding it with vodka periodically. She asked me to do the icing, which I was more than happy to do it. As I never make a good icing, this time I determined to learn more how to ice Christmas cake. I spent time on google and you tube ( as usual ).
With her guidance I manage to make home made almond paste and royal icing. So here it is my first Christmas cake icing. It wasn't brilliant but good enough for a beginner, but anyway my son loves it as I took his suggestion to put vanilla pod for the snowman's hand.
Adapted from Good House Keeping Fruit Cake 2012
300 gr raisins
300 gr sultanas
100 gr dried cranberry
150 gr dates
175 ml vodka
1 tbsp Vanilla extrack
175 gr butter, soften, plus extra to grease
175 gr light brown soft sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
125 gr plain flower
1/2 tbsp ground pepper (optional)
2 tsp mix spice
preheat oven 150 C
use 8 inch deep round cake tin
Put fruit, vodka and vanilla in non metallic bowl (she use glass bowl), stir and cover with cling dilm, soak for up to 2 days
Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy, whisk in the beaten egg
Fold in the flour, pepper and mix spice, into the soaked fruit and mix well.
Put in the cake tin.
Bake for 1 hr 40 minutes depend on the type of your oven
Leave to cool completely in the tin.
Keep it in cool and dry, dark place for 3 months ( one month is good enough) , 2 weeks prior using prick the cakeand feed or drizzle with vodka 2-3 tablespoon, twice a week to keep the cake moist and richer.
1 lb Marzipan
10 oz caster sugar
6 oz icing sugar (sifted)
1 large eggs ( or 2 small ones)
1 egg yolk
juiceof 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp brandy, rum or sherry
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp orange flower water or rose water
Shaping the marzipan
Make your own Royal icing
1 lb icing sugar sifted
1 tsp lemon juice
I just mixed all ingredient with a fork, add some icing sugar or lemon juice until I find the right consistency.
Then I use my hand to shape the dough into a ball and cover with cling film. Roll and shape according to your design.
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