Christmas cake with brandy butter icing




Well it is the time of year to think of Christmas and Christmas cakes.  Now this one is a good one as it is very rich and like all fruitcakes, it takes a long time to cook in a low oven.  But apart from that it is easy to make.  As for the icing, I have given you a recipe for brandy butter icing, a lot nicer than just ordinary icing.

For your fruitcake you will need,
80g/2¾oz golden syrup
80g/2¾oz black treacle
50g/1¾oz honey
250g/9oz dark brown sugar
200ml/7fl oz double cream
15g/½oz (about 2 tbsp) mixed spice
250g/9oz unsalted butter
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp lemon extract
6 medium free-range eggs
350g/12oz currants
350g/12oz raisins
350g/12oz chopped pitted prunes
350g/12oz glacé cherries or more dried fruit
500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Brandy for feeding the cake
2 tbsp apricot jam, boiled and sieved
400g/12oz marzipan
For the brandy butter frosting
300g/10½oz icing sugar
50g/1¾oz butter
25ml/1fl oz double cream
25ml/1fl oz brandy

Now like most fruitcakes it takes a long time to cook so you will want to make sure that you have some paper raped around it to stop it from burning.  The rest is easy and you do not have to worry about soaking your fruit for a day in advance.  Start by putting the  syrup, treacle, honey, sugar, cream and spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour this into a mixing bowl, add the butter a bit at a time, and stir until it is all melted, then add the orange and lemon extracts.

Next, add your eggs and beat them in until smooth, then sift the flour and bicard in to the mix and blend it together.  Then stir in the fruit and bind every thing together so you have a rich cake batter.  Then spoon this in to your cake tine and bake in a preheated oven set at 170c/335f for about 2-2½ hours, or until you can stick a skewer in and it comes out clean.  Then just leave to cool in the tin, once it has fully cooled you can remove it from the tin.

When it is cool you can spoon the top with brandy wrap well and leave in a cool, dark place for 3-4 days before icing.  Then go back every other 3 or 4 days and add some more brandy.  This kind of cake will last up to 3 months or longer like this and the more you feed it the better it becomes.

Now to ice the cake add a little water to the apricot jam and bring to the boil then pass this through a sieve  to get rid of any lumps .  Then brush this over the cake to make it sticky and give the marzipan some thing to stick to.

Roll out the marzipan and cover the cake, use a plate knife to make it as smooth as you can.  Then all you have to do is make your icing.

 Now for this you need to melt you butter and pour this on to the icing sugar with your cream and brandy then beat it until every thing is it is smooth and light.  Then use your pallet knife to cover the cake.  To make this smooth if you want it to look smooth let it set a bit then dip your pallet knife in hot water wipe clean and smooth any surfaces that you want.  Personally, I like it to look a little ruff and ready.

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