In an ideal world, I would have got the recipe for Christmas fruit cake from my Grandmother, who has been making (and thus perfecting) them for years. But as I am running late on getting a fruit cake together and also low on time to devote to such pursuits, I chose this quick fruit cake by Mary Berry. This is a great cake to gift or slice up with coffee on Christmas morning. It has all the flavour and spice of a ‘proper’ fruit cake without the need for all that forward planning.
So if, like me, this Christmas has snuck up on you far too quickly, consider this cake a truly easy, tasty alternative to the traditional variety, perfect for last-minute gifts or those family members who drop-in unannounced.
This cake absolutely could not be simpler. Firstly, grease and line a 20cm cake tin on all sides. Heat the oven to 160°c.
150g softened butter
150g brown sugar
2 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
400g jar of luxury mince meat/fruit mince
175g currants (I just used mixed dried fruit)
50g chopped or slivered almonds
675g almond paste or marzipan
1 qty royal icing
ribbon to decorate
Measure all cake ingredients into a bowl and beat well for 1 minute until thoroughly mixed, using electric beaters.
Pour into a tin and level the surface with your mixing spoon. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check after an hour and cover with aluminium foil if beginning to brown on top.
The cake is cooked through when a knife comes out cleanly. Check at about 1.5 hours.
If you wish to follow Mary Berry’s recipe, cover the cake with almond paste, leave to dry. Then make up the royal icing and spread over the cake. When dry, tie the ribbon around the cake ready to gift.
As I had leftover marshmallow fondant from the baby shower cake, I simply spread the cake thinly with apricot jam and rolled out the fondant to cover this cake, cutting a few festive stars for a finishing touch.