A twist to the Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake made with red candied fruit such as strawberries, cherries, eggplant, dried cranberries and cherry jam.
The tradition of making a Christmas Fruit Cake in Cyprus probably dates from the time Cyprus was a British colony.
Each year I have been making the same Christmas Cake year after year after year and I still love it and will be making it again some time in the future.
However, I still want to experiment with new things and this year I am making a Christmas Cake based on the older recipe but I have tweaked practically most of the ingredients.
Although I love the citrus flavour of the old cake I’ve used candied strawberries, cherry fruit preserve and eggplant fruit preserve. Instead of almonds, I used hazelnuts and I flavoured it with the coffee liqueur I made both inside and also to wet the cake a couple of times. I know that it’s hard to find the eggplant preserve abroad but you can add craisins (dried cranberries) instead, if you like.
This cake needs at least a week to be ready, so today I am posting the basic cake recipe and I will update the remaining as I go ahead.
Note: For those who are making a Christmas Cake for the first time, don’t think that it’s too early to make a cake for Christmas, as the Royal Icing seals the cake and it can be preserved for a very long time.
The homemade Spoon sweets should be placed in a colander for at least one day prior to preparing the cake.
The almond paste had another non traditional ingredient in it, as I added some desiccated coconut in it.
I did not change anything to the Royal Icing. I added the ornaments on top, which this year are all edible and sprinkled some coconut on top of the icing.
I made the same recipe for the Christmas Cake.
When I finished the cake, I boiled some chestnuts and followed the directions for pureed some chestnuts. Instead of adding sugar, I added some grape cream in it.
When it dried, I added the almond paste and then the Royal Icing.
Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to you all!!
- 1 unsalted butter (250 grams – 8.80 oz)
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) muscovado sugar
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) demerara sugar
- 2 tbsp haroupomelo (carob syrup)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 50 ml espresso cherry brandy liqueur
- 3 cups (375 grams – 13.20 oz) self raising flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (150 grams – 5.30 oz) hazelnuts
- 1 cup craisins (or sultana raisins)
- 2 tsp mixed spice or make your own with ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
- 1 cup candied strawberries
- 1 cup eggplant spoon sweet (4 eggplants), cut into small pieces
- ½ cup cherry spoon sweet (or sour cherries)
- Extra coffee liqueur
Almond Coconut Paste
- 250 grams (8.80 oz) almonds, blanched and ground
- 235 grams (8.30 oz) icing sugar
- 1 egg white beaten (or 50 grams margarine or butter)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 - 4 tbsp orange blossom water
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 egg whites lightly beaten
- 2 – 2 ½ cups of sieved icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 powdered vanilla ampoules or ½ tsp vanilla essence
- ½ cup desiccated coconut, to sprinkle on top
- A few days before making the cake, put the spoon sweets in a colander to drain the syrup and then cut them into small pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 180o C / 350o F. Line the baking tin (28 cm - 11 inch)
or (27 x 30 cm – 10.65 x 11.80 inch), with parchment paper.
- Have all the ingredients ready. Sieve the flour with the salt and mix in the candied fruit, nuts and spices.
- Cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy and add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
- Add the carob syrup (or other molasses) and the Espresso Coffee Liqueur and
- Lower mixer speed and add the flour mixture gradually and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre with the spatula. (This helps prevent a dome shape forming on top).
- Bake for about 50 minutes and then test with a toothpick or a skewer until it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the baking tin but leave it cool with the parchment paper on. Wrap the cake in foil or cling film and place back in the baking tin.
- Each day unfold, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over 3-4 tbsp of coffee liqueur. (I use a big syringe). Let the liqueur soak into the cake. Repeat for two days.
- Remove parchment paper from the cake and place it in a platter.
- Brush the cake with the cherry or strawberry jam.
Prepare the almond coconut paste which spread over the jam:
- Blanch the almonds and let them dry for a couple of days.
- Sift the icing sugar.
- Put them in a food processor, a little at a time with some icing sugar and powder them. Put them in a bowl and add the coconut, orange blossom water, vanilla and lemon juice.
- Whip the egg white until frothy but you don’t have to make it into meringue.
- Add to the remaining ingredients and knead until a thick paste is formed. The mixture should be firm and smooth when ready.
- This should stay for two days to dry.
Add the Royal icing
- Beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until frothy.
- Sieve the icing sugar.
- Add sugar, a tablespoon at a time and add the vanilla, mixing each time. Continue adding sugar until a nice thick cream is formed.
- Spread the royal icing with a spatula to seal every part of the cake well, sprinkle with the coconut.
- Add the edible or other ornaments before the frosting becomes hard..
If you don’t want to use raw eggs, add some butter or margarine or increase the amount of blossom water or add some liqueur until the right consistency is reached.
If you do not want to use raw eggs, in a double boiler stir together the egg whites and sugar. Cook over low heat beating with a hand mixer at low speed. Cook until the eggs reach 160 degrees.
Remove from the heat and continue with the remaining ingredients.
Nutrition InformationYield 20 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 482Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 56mgSodium 359mgCarbohydrates 82gFiber 5gSugar 61gProtein 8g
"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!