Baking & Desserts

Cooking class: Dark Christmas Cake

Cooking class: Dark Christmas Cake

Author: Canadian Living

Baking & Desserts

Cooking class: Dark Christmas Cake

To ice as we did for the photo, double the almond paste and icing in Tropical White Christmas Cake

2 cups (500 mL) currants
2 cups (500 mL) mixed candied peel
1 1/2 cups (375 mL ) coarsely chopped candied pineapple
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) red candied cherries, halved
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) seeded raisins (Muscat or Lexia)
1 cup (250 mL) brandy or rum
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL ) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL ) each ground allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg
Pinch salt
3/4 cup butter (175 mL), softened
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) strawberry jam
2 tbsp (25mL) fancy molasses
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped walnut halves

Click here for the step-by-step directions with images.

1. In large bowl, combine currants, mixed peel, pineapple, cherries, raisins and 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the brandy; cover and let stand for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Line base and sides of 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan with double thickness parchment paper. Set aside.

3. In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; remove 1/2 cup (125 mL) and toss with fruit mixture.

4. In separate bowl, beat together butter, sugar, jam and molasses until fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in remaining flour mixture all at once just until incorporated. Add fruit mixture and walnuts; stir to combine. Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.

5. Set shallow pan on bottom rack of 300°F (150°C) oven; pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan. Bake cake on centre rack for 1 hour. Lay foil loosely over cake; bake until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean but a little sticky, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack.

6. Remove cake from pan; peel off paper. Soak double-thickness 16-inch (40 cm) square of cheesecloth in remaining brandy; wrap around cake. Wrap in plastic wrap then foil. Refrigerate for 1 month. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 months.) Cut crosswise into 6 bars.

Makes 6 small cakes, about 14 slices each.
Per slice: about 113 cal, 1 g pro, 3 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 20 g carb, 1 g fibre, 16 mg chol, 40 mg sodium. % RDI: 2% calcium, 4% iron, 2% vit A, 7% vit C, 4% folate.


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Baking & Desserts

Cooking class: Dark Christmas Cake