Christmas Cake by Mary Rose Aquilina

Ingredients:

Pastry:
  • 8 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

Cake:
  • 2 lbs cake crumbs
  • 8 oz ground almonds
  • 8 oz granulated sugar
  • 8 eggs (separated)
  • 13 oz ( 500lm jar) apricot jam
  • 4 oz candied peel
  • few drops almond essence

Method:

Pastry
In bowl of electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar and baking powder on low speed
Add butter and beat until mixture resembles peas
Add egg and mix until dough starts to come together.. you may need to add a bit of water
Turn on to lightly floured board and bring dough together. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour

Cake
In a large bowl, mix together cake crumbs and ground almonds
Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light and forming a ribbon
In a seperate bowl beat egg whites until soft peaks form
Fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture and them fold into dry ingredients
Mix in the apricot jam and candied peel

Assembly:
Roll out or press dough into spring form pan(s) covering bottom and 1 ½ inches up sides of pan.
Fill with cake batter and bake in a 350• F oven for 45 minutes ( or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in center)
When cake is baked and slightly cooled, turn out ( upside down) onto a rack and pierce bottom all over with a skewer. Sprinkle /brush with some liquor ( amaretto, cointreau etc)
Once completely cooled, cover the cake with a layer of marzipan/almond paste
Spread a little melted apricot jam and cover with fondant
Decorate as desired with royal icing and/or fondant decorations
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