WE ALL dabbled in baking this year, now it's time to put those skills to the test.
Making a traditional Irish Christmas Cake takes time and effort, but the first moist, rich and crumbly bite makes it all worth it.
Since we all have a little extra time on our hands this year, there's never been a better time to learn how to make this delectable traditional dish.
What you'll need:
For the cake:
- 225 grams all-purpose flour
- 175 grams butter
- 175 grams Muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Lemon peel
- Orange peel
- Cinnamon (1tsp)
- Powder cloves (1 tsp)
- 100 grams almond flour
- powder ginger (1 tsp(
- nutmeg (1 tsp)
- Irish whiskey (6 tbsp)
- 200 grams sultanas
- 150 grams raisins
- 100 grams currants
- 100 grams candied orange and lemon
- 100 grams chopped almonds
For the almond icing:
- 450 grams almonds
- 450 grams caster sugar
- Almond essence (1/4 tsp)
- Whiskey (2 tbsp)
- 2 eggs
- Almond extract (1/4 tsp)
For the royal icing:
- 500 grams icing sugar
- 3 medium egg whites
- 1 tsp glycerine
How to make it:
- Put the raisins, sultanas and currants in a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons of whiskey. Mix well, cover and leave for 12 hours to allow the whiskey to be absorbed into the fruit.
- Preheat the oven at 130C/266F and line a 18cm/8" round tin with a double layer of parchment paper
- Take a and pour flour, room-temperature butter, sugar, eggs, lemon and orange peel, mixed spices and nutmeg, and beat until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy
- Then, take the whiskey-infused fruits along with raisons, almonds and almond flour and pour these into the bowl. Mix well using a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well combined and your mixture is extremely sticky
- Transfer the mixture into the round tin, smoothen and level the surface and bake for around 5 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean at 130C/266F.
- Allow to completely cool, wet with whiskey and wrap it in three sheets of parchment paper. Store the cake in room temperature in an airtight container, wetting it with more whiskey every 3-4 days desired to make the cake last longer without going stale.
- Brush the cake with your almond icing then cover with the royal icing
The almond icing:
- Crush the lumps out of your almonds and mix with sieved caster sugar
- Beat the eggs, keeping a little egg white for later, then add flavourings and whiskey. Pour in the almonds and sugar and mix to make stiff paste
- Turn on sugared board, knead and roll out. Brush the Christmas cake with egg white and decorate with almond paste.
The royal icing:
- Place egg whites in a bowl, stir in icing sugar a spoonful at a time until icing is thick
- Whisk with electric whisk for 10 minutes or until icing stands up in stiff peaks, then stir in glycerine
- Spread icing all over the top and sides of the Christmas cake as evenly as possible, using a broad-blade knife
- Add decorations to cake as needed
- Leave cake overnight to allow icing to dry out
- Enjoy your hard work with a big slice and a good cup of tea!