Whisky Christmas Cake 2012!

Whisky Christmas cake.

Rich, sweet, boozy with a hint of spice and a generous sprinkling of Christmas magic. This Christmas cake will play centre stage in my celebrations this year.
Ring the changes by soaking plump dried fruit in your favourite Whisky. Don’t tell him indoors!

CACEN NADOLIG

This recipe came about while back working with Newport based food photographer Huw Jones. He’s a whizz with the camera as well as turning out perfect star shaped templates! This four Tiered Star Christmas cake extravaganza is for a National food service Christmas front cover.
The recipe below is enough for a 20cm round cake tin.
After cutting the star shaped cake, don’t forget to squirrel away the left over pieces. Enjoy a sneaky wedge with a hot toddy or turn into a delicious quick Eaton mess style pudding.
Crumble the cake into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with a dessertspoon of whisky. Whip a carton of double cream to soft peaks and fold in the cake crumbs. Crumble in two meringue nests and stir to combine. Pile into tall glasses. Christmas pudding in a glass!

Whisky Christmas Cake

Ingredients

800g mixed dried fruit
50g glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and cut in half
50g mixed candied peel
4 tablespoons Whisky
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g soft brown sugar
4 large free range eggs
225g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
50g whole blanched almonds
1 dessertspoon black treacle
1 Clementine, zest and juice

For the caramel star

225g sugar
225ml water

Method

1. Prepare the cake tin. You will need either a 20cm round cake tin, an 18cm square tin or a star shaped tin. Grease and line with greaseproof paper and tie a band of brown paper round the outside for extra protection.
2. Place the dried fruit in a large bowl and mix in the whisky. Cover the bowl and leave the fruit to absorb the whisky for a good 12 hours.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
4. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
5. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the creamed mixture a little at a time. Keep the whisk running until all the egg mixture is incorporated.
6. Fold in the sifted flour and spices.
7. Now add the whisky soaked fruit, nuts, treacle and citrus zest and juice.
8. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread out evenly.
9. Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for at least 4 ½ hours. The cake can take at least another ½ to ¾ hour longer.
10. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for an hour then transfer to a cooling rack.
11. When completely cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin.
12. Feed the cake with extra whisky at weekly intervals by piecing all over with a darning needle and spooning teaspoonfuls of whisky through the holes.

For a star shaped cake

Use a star template to cut the cake, marzipan and fondant icing.
You could use a star shaped tin if you dare – but take care the points can burn quickly during cooking.

Caramel star

1. Place the sugar and water in a heavy pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Do not stir.
3. Swirl the pan once or twice so that the syrup colours evenly.
4. Heat the sugar to 145C (use a sugar thermometer) or drop a teaspoonful into iced water. When the sugar forms a hard ball remove from the heat and plunge the base of the saucepan into iced water to prevent further cooking,
5. Place an oiled star shaped cutter on to waxed paper and fill with caramel. Alternatively use the caramel to spin star shapes.

Feed the cake at least once a week between now and Christmas. A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!
For those who prefer a caramel cake theme here’s another variant on the same theme.

TORTE

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