Rich Fruit Christmas Cake

I actually prefer this gluten-free version of Christmas cake to the regular kind. The texture is just the same if not better and it is delicious! It’s best to soak the fruit in the whisky and lemon juice overnight; it makes a real difference to the texture of the cake.

Christmas CakeIngredients

For the cake

  • 75g currants
  • 75g sultanas
  • 350g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 150ml whisky
  • grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • vegetable oil, for oiling
  • 150g Gluten-Free Flour Mix B
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g whole almonds
  • 100g natural-coloured glacé cherries, halved and washed
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 1 tablespoon clear honey

For the top

  • 2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam, warmed
  • 100g mixed glacé fruits e.g. red or green cherries
  • ginger
  • melon or pineapple
  • 50g nuts e.g. almonds, walnuts or pecan halves

Method

  1. Place the dried fruit and mixed peel in a pan, add the whisky and the lemon juice and zest, and bring up to the boil.
  2. Take the pan off the heat, cover and leave to soak overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Oil and line the base and sides of a 6 – 8cm deep round or square 18cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment, including a tall collar sticking up.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and spices together.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light.
  6. Gradually add the eggs and flour, alternately, and then add the ground almonds.
  7. Stir in the milk and mix in the dried fruit mixture, almonds and cherries.
  8. Finally stir in the treacle and honey and give the whole cake mix a thoroughly good stir.
  9. Spoon the mixture into the tin, level, and bake for about 1½-2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
  10. To decorate, brush the surface of the cake with half the warmed jam. Arrange or pile a selection of glacŽ fruits and nuts over the top and brush over a second layer of jam to glaze.
  11. Now all you need is a big bow to put round the sides!

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