Christmas Fruitcake with Marzipan. On Christmas Eve in Britain, carols are often sung and a stocking is hung by the fireplace (or at the foot of the bed) for Santa Claus who is also known as “Father Christmas”.
On the morning of December 25th, families attend Christmas services at church and a large dinner is held traditionally which includes roasted turkey, goose, or chicken with stuffing and roast potatoes. This course is followed by mince pies and Christmas pudding flamed with brandy. Often, Christmas cake is later served that often is a fruit cake drizzled with marzipan, icing and sugar frosting. A uniquely British tradition are Christmas crackers that often accompany food, which were invented in 1846.
Christmas Fruitcake with Marzipan
- 2 cups currants
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- ½ level tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ level tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 1 lb almond paste
- 3 cups cinfectioners sugar,
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees F
- Line a 9 inch cake tin with 2 thicknesses of parchment or greaseproof paper. Tie a double band of brown or newspaper paper around the outside. This acts as an insulator and to prevent the cake from burning on the outside read more about why here.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the currants and raisins, with the flour, salt and spices.
- In another large bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Carefully fold in half the flour and fruit into the egg and butter mixture, once incorporated repeat with the remaining flour and fruit. last add the brandy.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin making sure there are no air pockets. smooth the surface and make a slight dip in the center.
- Bake for 4½ hours or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. If the cake is browning too rapidly, cover the tin with a double layer of parchment paper after 2½ hours.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for an hour, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely.
- For the marzipan Place the almond paste in the bowl of a large stand mixer.Add the confectioners sugar to the mixing bowl and mix them together on low speed with the paddle attachment until the almond paste has broken down and everything has a fine, sandy texture.
- With the mixer running on low, add the egg whites until everything comes together in a ball in the mixer.
- Once the marzipan has formed a ball, take it out of the mixer, dust a work station with powdered sugar, and knead the marzipan until it is completely smooth and has a nice, pliable texture.
- Roll out thin to coat your cake.