Traditional Christmas Almond Cake
|Butter/Margarine||12 Ounce (350 Gram)|
|Soft light brown sugar||12 Ounce (350 Gram)|
|Eggs||5 , beaten|
|Plain flour||10 Ounce (300 Gram)|
|Ground almonds||4 Ounce (100 Gram)|
|Ground cinnamon||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Ground ginger||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Ground cloves||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Nutmeg||1⁄2 Teaspoon, freshly grated|
|Black treacle||1 Tablespoon, warmed|
|Lemon juice||1 Tablespoon|
|Sultanas||10 Ounce (300 Gram)|
|Seedless raisins||10 Ounce (300 Gram)|
|Currants||6 Ounce (175 Gram)|
|Chopped mixed nuts||3 Ounce (75 Gram)|
|Glace cherries||3 Ounce, washed dried and chopped (75 Gram)|
|Brandy/Fruit juice||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Ground almonds||12 Ounce (350 Gram)|
|Castor sugar||6 Ounce (175 Gram)|
|Icing sugar||6 Ounce, sieved (175 Gram)|
|Eggs||2 , beaten|
|Vanilla essence||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Almond essence||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Apricot jam||1 Tablespoon|
|Lemon juice||2 Teaspoon|
|Icing sugar||1 1⁄2 Pound, sifted (675 Gram)|
Preheat the oven to Gas 2, 300°F, 150°C, 10 mins before baking.
Grease and line a 9 in/23 cm round cake tin with four layers of greaseproof paper.
Cream the fat and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, adding 1 tbsp of flour after each addition.
Add the ground almonds, together with the spices and black treacle.
Stir in half the remaining flour with the lemon rind and juice, dried fruit, nuts and cherries.
Add the remaining flour with the brandy or fruit juice, to give a soft dropping consistency.
Turn mixture into prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
Make a slight hollow in the centre to ensure a flat cake.
Bake towards the bottom of the oven for 2 hrs, then reduce the oven temperature to Gas 1,275°F, 140°C, and cook the cake for a further 1 1/2-2 hrs or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
If the top is browning too quickly, cover with greaseproof paper.
When cooked remove from the oven and leave in the tin until cold.
Remove from tin, store wrapped in greaseproof paper, then foil in a cool, dry place.
If liked, prick with a skewer and pour 1-2 tbsp brandy over.
When ready to decorate, discard lining paper.
If necessary, trim cake.
Mix the ground almonds and sugars in a bowl, stir in sufficient egg to make a soft but not wet consistency, then add the essences and knead well until smooth.
Wrap in clear wrap.
Heat the jam and lemon juice together, rub through a sieve.
Cool, use to glaze surface of cake.
Reserve a third of the almond paste, then divide the remainder into two.
On a lightly sugared surface, roll each piece into a strip the depth of the cake and half the circumference.
Place around sides of cake, trim and press firmly.
Roll out remaining almond paste into a round the same size as the cake.
Place on top of the cake.
Smooth top and sides using a rolling pin, place on a cake board and leave to dry for three days.
Whisk egg whites until lightly stiff, then whisk in the icing sugar a little at a time.
If the texture becomes too stiff add a little of the lemon juice.
Whisk in the glycerine.
The mixture should be stiff enough for you to form soft peaks with a knife.
Cover cake completely.
Then make small swirls with a palette knife over the whole cake.
Decorate, then leave to set for at least two days.