Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Night Before Christmas Cake

6 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
9 oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 orange
8 oz fruit mince
2 tbs brandy

Florentine topping:
2 oz hazelnuts
2 0z blanched almonds
3 0z brazil nuts
5 oz red glace cherries
3.5 oz golden syrup

2/3 cup icing sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and line base of a 8 inch springform cake pan. Beat butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, sift flour and baking powder and stir into butter mixture with buttermilk and eggs. Stir in rinds with fruit mince and brandy. Spoon into pan and bake for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, for florentine topping, place nuts, cherries and golden syrup in a saucepan and warm over a medium heat. When cake has cooked for 1 hour, remove from oven and spread topping over. Return for a further 15-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For the icing, mix together sugar and lemon juice, place in a piping bag with a small nozzle and drizzle over cake. Decorate with ribbon, if desired.

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