A time-tested traditional Christmas cake not much different from the one I have been making for many years, which a friend of mine sent me this recipe.
On her turn she got this traditional recipe from a Scottish friend of hers.
Some cakes which are not part of our culinary habits have been adapted by us and added to our cuisine. Among these cakes is the Christmas cake, which must have been introduced to us when Cyprus was a British Colony.
I can remember it from my childhood and I have been doing this recipe ever since I was in high school.
You may prepare the Christmas cake as early as you like, even a month before Christmas.
Don’t worry that it will decay because in a few days we will add the frostings which will keep the cake airtight and can last for a long time before cutting it.
Preparing the Cake
Stage one – Prepare the fruit preserves
As I make my own Glyka tou Koutaliou, called spoon sweets (fruit preserves), I prefer using them instead of store bought candied fruit.
A few days before making the cake, put the spoon sweets in a colander to drain, after washing out the syrup.
In Greece and Cyprus we preserve fruit in heavy syrup and we do this with a variety of fruit so we use 3- 4 different kinds.
I usually add citrus preserves but depending on what I have at the time, I may also add some preserved cherries, green walnuts, quince, etc.
Stage two – Prepare the cake
You will find the recipe at the end.
For a few days until the first icing is placed, I wet the surface of the cake every day, with a couple of tablespoons of brandy.
Stage three – Add the Almond Frosting
In a few days spread some jam on top of the cake and prepare the first Almond frosting, which spread over the jam.
Stage four – Add the Royal Frosting
Two or three days later, when the almond paste has dried, add the Royal frosting.
We use this frosting not only because it gives a nice snowy look to the cake but it also keeps it, so this icing preserves the cake for a very long time.
After the cake is cut, it is good for another week.
Stage five – Decorate
Decorate your cake with Christmas ornaments.
This year, I decorated the cake with edible Christmas ornaments made of chocolate.
- 250 grams butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups of self-raising flour
- 1 cup of raisins, black currant (any combination, I use only sultanas)
- 1 cup of blanched almonds finely chopped,
- 2 cups of dried spoon sweets (preferably citrus flavoured)
- 1 cup of walnuts crumbled
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spices
- A pinch of salt
- ¼ cup of brandy (plus extra for feeding the cake)
- 3 teaspoons treacle or carob syrup
- Citrus marmalade
- Whisk the butter and sugar together until it's light, pale and fluffy.
- Add brandy and treacle (or carob syrup or grape molasses)
- Sift the flour and add all the other ingredients to flour and mix well.
- Add it gradually to the butter.
- Line the base of a buttered cake tin with parchment paper and using a large spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared 28 cm. diameter tin.
- Spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180o C and bake the cake for about 1 hour or until after inserting a knife in the centre, it comes out dry and clean.
- Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, and then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Put it back in the baking tin and for a few days wet it with brandy. Keep it covered with cling film.
- When ready to frost the cake remove it to a platter and follow the steps listed above.
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,