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    Matha Collison's golden Christmas cake

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    Matha Collison's golden Christmas cake

    • Vegetarian
    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes + soaking and cooling
    • Cooking time: 165 minutes to 180 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 5 to 20 minutes + soaking and cooling

    Serves: 20


    For the cake
    300g raisins
    300g sultanas
    200g glacé cherries, roughly chopped
    250g dried apricots, roughly chopped
    200g mixed peel
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    2 balls stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
    100ml golden rum, plus extra for feeding
    Juice and finely grated zest 1 large orange
    2 tbsp golden syrup
    300g butter, at room temperature
    300g light brown soft sugar
    4 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs
    300g self-raising flour
    100g ground almonds

    To decorate
    500g golden marzipan
    1 tbsp smooth apricot jam
    400g tub Cooks’ Ingredients Royal Icing
    1 pack Cooks’ Homebaking Stardust


    1. The day before baking your cake, mix all the dried fruits, mixed peel, spices and chopped ginger together in a large bowl and pour over the rum, orange zest and juice and golden syrup. Cover and allow to soak overnight.

    2. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2 and line a round 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, allowing a few centimetres to stick out at the top.

    3. Beat together the butter and sugar by hand or in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Once combined, add the flour, and ground almonds then mix until just combined. Stir in the soaked fruit and any soaking liquid and mix until it is incorporated.

    4. Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours, rotating the tin halfway through cooking to ensure an even bake and covering it with foil if it looks too dark. Test to see if the cake is ready by inserting a skewer into the centre. A few crumbs should stick to it, but no raw mixture should be visible if it is cooked.

    5. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, before turning out, piercing it all over with a skewer and feeding with a drizzle of rum. Wrap tightly in parchment and foil and leave in a cool dark place, feeding every few weeks with rum, until ready to decorate.

    6. When you are ready to serve the cake, roll the marzipan out into a disc roughly the same size as the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam, then apply the marzipan disc and trim the edges. Pipe the royal icing over the top, then dust with gold stardust and allow to harden before serving.

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    Cook’s tip

    It can be difficult to get the consistency right with royal icing, so buying it ready-made helps save time and eliminates the risk of it being too runny! It is also a great option if you are cautious about using raw egg in the icing. 


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    5 stars