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    Easy Christmas Cake

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    Easy Christmas Cake

    This cake is so simple, it can be in the oven in under 30 minutes. But we haven't sacrificed taste for speed: our secret is quality ingredients, such as succulent vine fruits and unrefined muscovado sugar, rounded off with a hint of sherry and saffron.

    • Vegetarian
    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 180 minutes to 240 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours 30 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Makes: 1 x 20cm cake Serves: 25 - 30

    Ingredients

    • 500g bag Waitrose Soft Five Fruit Medley
    • 500g bag Waitrose Orange River Sultanas
    • 2 x 250g bags Waitrose Australian Lexia Raisins
    • 100ml pale cream sherry
    • ½ sachet Waitrose Cooks' Ingredients Kashmiri Saffron
    • 250g butter
    • 200g light brown muscovado sugar
    • 4 medium eggs
    • 300g Waitrose Leckford Premium Plain White Flour

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC, gas mark 2. Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Using scissors, snip the fruit medley into sultana-sized pieces and place in a bowl with the sultanas and raisins.
    2. In a small pan, warm the sherry with the saffron, then mix in with the fruit.
    3. Place the butter, sugar, eggs and flour in a large bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, beat together until combined. Tip in the fruit and mix thoroughly, using a large spoon.
    4. Spoon into the prepared cake tin, pressing down and leaving a small dip in the centre.
    5. Tie a double thickness of newspaper or brown paper around the tin, then place on several sheets of newspaper or brown paper in the centre of the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the the cake is firm and a sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the cake starts getting too brown, cover with a piece of baking parchment or foil.

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    Cook's tips

    Make the cake up to 2 months in advance. Allow to cool in the tin, then remove, wrap in baking parchment and then in a double layer of foil. Store in a cool, dark place.

    Notes on ingredients

    To top your cake, make a home-made marzipan from Spanish Marcona almonds - they have a wonderful flavour and are a great alternative to using ordinary ground almonds.

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    4 stars