Christmas cake

This cake is pure winter comfort food. It's literally filled with berries, candied fruits, nuts and spices... and chocolate, of course, to make it indulgently rich. The finishing with marzipan and chocolate fondant icing takes a bit of practice.


Ingredients Preparation
  • 175ml
  • 125g
  • 70g
  • 50g
    chopped dates
  • 50g
    sour cherries

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and leave to soak for at least one hour.

  • 75g
  • 75g
    flaked almonds
  • 50g
    whole hazelnuts

Set the oven to 140°C. Gently roast all the nuts until light brown.

  • 125g
    unsalted butter
  • 50g
    caster sugar

Cream the butter and sugar.

  • 100g
    A.P. flour
  • 5g
    four spice

Sieve together onto the creamed butter and sugar.

  • 3
    large egg(s)

Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, blending all ingredients into a smooth dough.

  • 175g
  • 1
    lemon zest

Stir in and add the marinated fruit and roasted nuts.

  • 450g
  • 300g
  • 15g
    black treacle

Stir in.

Line a 23 cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper. Pour the cake dough into the tin and bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Cool in the tin. Store wrapped in aluminium foil.

Chocolate roll-out fondant

Ingredients Preparation
  • 1leaf/leaves

Soak the gelatine in cold water for 20 minutes.

  • 40ml

Dissolve the gelatine in the water over a gentle heat.

  • 80g
  • 30g
    white vegetable fat (shortening)
  • 10g
    liquid glycerine

Add and dissolve gently together without overheating.

  • 5g


  • 340g
    icing sugar
  • 190g

Sieve together. Add a little bit at a time to the cooled liquids.

Use straight away or store wrapped in cling film in an airtight container. Knead well before use.

Finishing and presentation Cover the cake with marzipan. Coat the cake with the chocolate roll-out fondant. In advance make some chocolate leaves: pre-crystallise plain, milk and white chocolate, mould leaves and before they are set sprinkle with chopped dried fruits and nuts. Mould a ribbon by pre-cutting a transfer into thin strips: Spread pre-crystallised chocolate onto the transfer strips and curl around a knife steel to create the curled ribbon. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes, remove from steel, carefully peel off transfer after 20 minutes. To create the bow spread pre-crystallised chocolate onto the strips one at a time and on setting fold together. Again place in the fridge for 5 minutes. After 20 minutes carefully peel off the transfer. Arrange the chocolate leaves on the cake in a wheat sheaf design attaching with pre-crystallised chocolate. Arrange ribbon and attach with pre-crystallised chocolate.

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