Christmas gift cakes

Christmas gift cakes

Cuisine type: Traditional
Course: Dessert
Favourite flavours: Cakes/baking
Cooking method: bake


INGREDIENTS

3 cups (500g) sultanas
1/2 cup (100g) glacé cherries
1 1/2 cups (250g) raisins, chopped coarsely
1 1/2 cups (200g) seeded dried dates,
chopped coarsely
125g coarsely chopped glacé apricots
125g coarsely chopped glacé pineapple
1/4 cup (85g) orange marmalade
3/4 cup (180ml) Grand Marnier
(or brandy or rum)
250g butter, softened
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups (300g) plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 cup (160g) walnuts, toasted, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup (60ml) Grand Marnier, extra
TO DECORATE
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) water
500g packet white icing
icing sugar, for rolling
coloured cachous
assorted ribbon

METHOD

1. Combine the fruit, marmalade and liqueur in a large bowl; mix well. Cover and stand overnight or for several days, stirring occasionally.

2. Preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan-forced). Line the base and sides of a deep 20cm square cake pan with two layers of brown paper and two layers of baking paper, bring paper 5cm above edges of pan.

3. Beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined between additions. Add butter mixture to fruit mixture; mix well. Stir in sifted dry ingredients then walnuts; mix well.

4. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for about 3 hours or until cooked when tested. Brush top of cake with extra liqueur. Place a piece of baking paper over top of the cake; cover hot cake tightly with foil. Turn cake in pan upside down to cool; this will give the cake a level top.

5. TO DECORATE: Combine the sugar and water in a small pan and stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool. Cut the cake into 4 squares. Brush top of the cake with some of the cooled syrup. Knead icing until smooth on a surface dusted with sifted icing sugar. Roll out the icing until about 7mm thick. Using a fluted pastry wheel (or knife if preferred), cut four 10cm squares, or large enough to cover tops of cakes. Lift icing squares onto cakes. Cut out stars from remaining icing. Brush the stars with a little of the syrup and arrange on icing. Stand for several hours or overnight until firm. Brush the cachous with a little of the sugar syrup using a fine brush; place onto cakes. Decorate cakes with ribbon, if desired.

Un-iced cake suitable to freeze.

Not suitable to microwave.



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