Boozy Christmas cakes with brandy frosting
The longer you soak the fruit the better the flavour will be. Half an hour is fine (if that's all you've got) but a couple of days or a week would be even better! Then make the cake just a few days before you want to eat it for a moist gorgeous spongy texture. Smother them with this gorgeous caramel boozy frosting as you're serving them - absolutely heavenly.
Preparation time: 1 hour plus up to 1 week soaking fruit
Cooking time: 40 mins
What you need:
- 250 g (9 oz) mixed dried fruit
- 125 ml (4 fl oz) dark rum
- 75 ml (3 fl oz) sherry
- 250 g (9 oz) butter
- 225 g (8 oz) Billington's Molasses Sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 250 g (9 oz) Allinson Wholemeal Self Raising Flour
- 2 tablespoons ground mixed spice
- 4 pieces of stem ginger, drained and chopped
For fresh brandy frosting:
- 150 g (6 oz) unsalted butter
- 150 g (6 oz) Billington's Unrefined Golden Icing Sugar
- 150 g (6 oz) cream cheese
- 1 tbsp brandy, ginger wine or sherry
What you do:
- Preheat the oven at 180C (170C) Gas Mark 4. Put the dried fruit into a bowl, add the dark rum and sherry and stir everything together.
- Microwave on High for 2 minutes to warm through (alternatively put into a pan and warm through for a few minutes).
- Tip into a sealable container and put the lid on. Leave the fruit to macerate for as long as you've got! (1 hour to 1 week)
- Grease and line the base and sides of 10 x 7.5cm 3inch cooking rings.
- Cream the butter and Molasses Sugar together in a bowl with a hand held mixer until soft and fluffy.
- Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of Allinson Wholemeal Self Raising Flour to stop the mixture curdling.
- Sift in the remaining flour and mixed spice, then fold in the stem ginger.
- Put half the macerated fruit into a processor and whizz until it's smooth
- Add to the flour with the rest of the fruit and boozy liquid. Fold everything together. Spoon into prepared tin, smoothing over the surface, leaving a slight dip in the surface.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Test to see if cooked by inserting a skewer in the centre - it should come away clean. If it doesn't, return the cake to the oven for 15 minutes and check again. Cool in the tins. Remove rings and wrap in foil and put into an airtight container until needed.
- For fresh brandy frosting, put 150 g (5 oz) each of unsalted butter, Unrefined Golden Icing Sugar and cream cheese into a processor with 1 tablespoon of brandy, ginger wine or sherry. Whizz together until blended.
- Use a palette knife to spread the icing over the top of the cake, smoothing and peaking.
- Wrap a ribbon around the sides if liked to decorate.
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