There will be traditional recipes, new recipes and 'cheat' recipes that will allow you to prepare traditional recipes even if you only have a week left until Christmas.
The recipe presented here is one of these 'cheat' recipes. It uses mincemeat to allow you to prepare a Christmas cake even if it's only a few days before Christmas. Indeed, the problem with most Christmas cakes is that they take weeks to mature. However, even if you have not prepared your own Christmas cake, all is not yet lost.
You can actually make a rich fruit Christmas cake based on mincemeat that only needs a few days to mature (a week is best, but this can actually be made just 4 days before Christmas).
Here you can find a link to all the Christmas and all the other Twelve Days of Christmas recipes published on this blog... a true treasure-trove of seasonal dishes.
Mincemeat Christmas Cake RecipeServes: 12
450g (1 lb) mincemeat (either home-made or shop-bought)
240g (2 cups) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g (3/4 cup, packed) dark brown sugar
150g (3/4 cup) butter
180g (2 cups) mixed dried fruit
finely-grated zest of 1 orange
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
120g (1 cup) ground almonds
Method:To prepare, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
Grease a 20cm (8 in) diameter springform cake tin and line with greaseproof (waxed) paper, ensuring the the paper comes up 5cm (2 in) above the sides of the tin.
Wrap a double layer of brown paper around the tin and tie securely with string (this helps prevent the outside of the cake from burning).
Smooth the top, then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 160ºC (320ºF, Gas Mark 3) and bake for about 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges cleanly.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Wrap in greaseproof (waxed) paper and a sheet of kitchen foil and keep in an air-tight tin. This is best if allowed to matur for 1 week before serving, but can be served within 4 days.
The cake can be served plain, or it can be decorated as you would any Christmas cake (spread over melted marmalade or apricot jam, cover with marzipan [almond paste] and finally cover with icing).
For the effect seen here, cover the cake with white marzipan (almond paste) and decorate with marzipan shapes, then dust with icing sugar. Place under a hot grill (broiler) and allow to colour slightly.
Find more Christmas Recipes on the Celtnet recipes site.
This recipe is adapted, with permission, from the Celtnet Recipes website recipe for Mincemeat Christmas Cake.
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