Light Glace Fruit Cake Unlive by Lindsey

This is an absolutely delightful alternative Christmas cake; one for connoisseurs, I think. It's light in colour with a fragrant flavour and the glacé fruits look jewel-like when you cut it open. It works well with marzipan and icing or a glacé fruit and nut topping.

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas

Light Glace Fruit Cake Unlive by Lindsey
 4 oz (110 g) glacé pineapple, roughly chopped
 6 oz (175 g) red and green glacé cherries, roughly chopped
 8 oz (225 g) sultanas
 4 oz (110 g) dried apricots, roughly chopped
 3 tablespoons brandy
 4 oz (110 g) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
 4 oz (110 g) whole, mixed candied peel, chopped small
 2 oz (50 g) angelica, chopped small
 2 oz (50 g) crystallised ginger, chopped small
 grated zest 1 medium orange
 grated zest 1 medium lemon
 8 oz (225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
 8 oz (225 g) caster sugar
 4 large eggs
 8 oz (225 g) plain flour, sifted
 2 oz (50 g) ground almonds
 ¼ level teaspoon salt
You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin or a 7 inch (18 cm) square tin, greased and lined with a double thickness of silicone paper (baking parchment). Tie a band of brown paper round the outside of the tin for extra protection.


Begin the night before by placing the sultanas and chopped apricots in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the brandy, cover and leave overnight. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C). Add the rest of the nuts, fruit and peels into the sultanas and apricots. Tick everything off as you go.

Now whisk with an electric hand whisk the butter and sugar in another large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy. Then beat the eggs and add them to the butter and sugar, a very small amount at a time, whisking well after every addition. When all the eggs are incorporated, lightly fold in the sifted flour and salt, followed by the ground almonds and then all the fruit, nuts, etc.

Now transfer the mixture to the tin, levelling it off with the back of a spoon, and place the tin in the oven so the top of it is more or less in the centre. Bake the cake for 1 hour then place a double sheet of greaseproof paper over the top of the tin and turn the heat down to gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C), for a further 2-2¼ hours.

When it's cooked it will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin and be springy in the centre when you press lightly with your little finger. You can leave this cake in the tin till it's absolutely cold then peel off the papers and wrap it in double greaseproof paper before storing in an airtight container.

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