- 2 CUPS ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (8oz)
- 1 CUP OF DARK BROWN SUGAR (8oz)
- 4 LARGE EGGS
- 2 STICKS BUTTER (8oz)
- 2 Tsp VANILLA ESSENCE
- JUICE OF 2 ORANGES
- RIND OF 2 ORANGES
- RIND OF ONE LEMON
- 1 GRANNY SMITH APPLE GRATED
- 28oz RAISINS
- 4oz CHOPPED GLACE CHERRIES
- 2oz CHOPPED ALMONDS
- PINCH SALT
- 2 TABLESPOONS RUM
- 1 TEASPOON GRAVY BROWNING LIQUID
- 1 TSP CINNAMON
- 1 TSP NUTMEG
- 1 TSP GINGER
FOR FEEDING THE COOKED CAKE
- 375ml BOTTLE OF RUM (MINUS 2 TBSP FOR ABOVE) FOR AFTER CAKE IS COOKED
Bring all the ingredients up to room temperature. It’s important in baking cakes.
TURN ON OVEN AND PREPARE THE CAKE TIN
Preheat oven to 140 degrees. Line the cake tin with two layers of parchment paper, bottom and sides. Now line the outside of the cake tin with 2 layers of parchment paper and secure either with tape or string. For the outside of the tin make it about 3 inches higher than the top of the tin. You will also need to trim 2 layers of parchment paper to fit comfortably over the top of the parchment paper which surrounds the inside of the cake tin. Cut out a hole at the top to let the steam out. About the size of a quarter. You will need to move this during the final 30 minutes of cooking to let the cake brown.
- Start grating the orange and lemon rind and put to one side. Juice the orange and put to one side. Grate apple and put to one side.
- In a small saucepan add the orange juice and 8oz of the raisins, with 1 tablespoon of rum and cook on low/medium heat until the raisins are soft and the liquid has been reduced by half. Let cool. Once cool, put it in a food processor and blend until semi smooth, not liquid.
- Cream the butter with the brown sugar until incorporated and fluffy. This will take a couple of minutes or more. The lighter and fluffier the better.
- Alternate the eggs and flour into the mixture, starting with 2 eggs, half the mixture and beat. Then add the last two and beat. Finish with the flour and fold it lightly into the mixture. Now add all the other ingredients to the cake.
- Pour the cake batter into the tin and top with the 2 parchment paper circles on the top with the holes cut out.
- Put the cake on the bottom level of the oven and cook for a minimum of four hours. Sometimes the cake can take an extra hour to cook. You can test the cake by putting a toothpick into the cake and if it comes out clean, it is done. If it comes out with bits of cake stuck on, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.
- Once the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven. Let it cool.
- Once it is cool, prick the cake in a few places on the top and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of rum over the cake. Leave the cake for an hour and then wrap the cake in 2 layers of parchment paper and one layer of foil. You need to prick the cake again in different places, and pour on the rum, every week until the week before Christmas when you will ice it. Make this cake at least 8 to 12 weeks in advance.
The week before Christmas, you will need to warm up some apricot jam in the microwave and brush it light on the cake. This will help the marzipan/almond paste to stick to the cake. You need to get 2 tubes of almond paste to cover a cake this size. Roll out until it fits the cake. Cut to fit. You will need at least 1lb of fondant icing to cover the cake. Leave the marzipan 24 hours to dry on the cake before icing. Put the same jam over the marzipan for icing to stick.