Deliciously Gingery Christmas Cake Recipe
This is a wonderfully rich and decadent Christmas cake with a twist. Spiced with Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup and studded with Opies Crystallised Stem Ginger, this is joyfully gingery and has just the right amount of stickiness!
75ml Ginger Wine plus extra for ‘feeding’
200g Opies Crystallised Stem Ginger roughly chopped
50g Opies Cocktail Cherries roughly chopped
200g Dark Muscovado Sugar
280g Opies Stem Ginger in Syrup
3 Medium Free Range Eggs
250g Self Raising Flour
200g Unsalted Butter
1 tablespoon Ground Mixed Spice
For the Marzipan layer:
20g Reserved Stem Ginger Syrup
For the Royal Icing layer:
500g Icing Sugar
3 Egg Whites
Juice of ½ a Lemon
1 teaspoon Glycerine
You will need one 15cm/6inch cake tin, greased and lined on the bottom and insides with baking paper and wrapped in a couple of sheets of newspaper. Place a slim wad of newspaper on the shelf of your oven shelf to sit the cake on too to protect it whist baking.
- The night before (or at least a couple of hours before – the longer ahead of time you do this, the better…) place the chopped stem ginger and currants and ginger wine into a bowl. Cover and allow to soak overnight.
- The next day: Set the oven to 150C oven, 140C fan
- In a large bowl, place the softened unsalted butter and dark muscovado sugar. Cream together until light and fluffy.
- Whisk the eggs together, and add to the creamed butter and sugar mixture a tablespoon at a time, beating well in between additions.
- Rinse the cherries in water – dry with kitchen paper and add to the weighed flour, this will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- Pour 20g of the syrup from the Stem Ginger Jar and set to one side. (You will need this to spread over the cake after baking). Place the rest of the jar – syrup and Stem Ginger pieces into a food processor or blender and whizz until you have a puree. (It doesn’t have to be exceptionally smooth.)
- Then gently fold in the flour and chopped cherries, the mixed spice, then the soaked fruit and Crystallised Stem Ginger and lastly the pureed stem ginger in syrup.
- Scoop the mix into the prepared tin, smooth the surface and place on the newspaper in the preheated oven. Bake for 2 hours.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- You can then ‘feed’ your cake with extra booze should you choose to. Create tiny holes in the top with a tooth-pick and weekly, drizzle a couple of tablespoons full of Ginger wine into the holes. Wrap between feeds and keep in a cool place.
- Once ready to ice, with a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of the reserved ginger syrup over the cake. Fill any holes with little pieces of marzipan and then roll out the block of marzipan to ½ cm thick and lay over cake. Trim the edges and leave to set for a few hours or overnight.
- To make your royal icing: place the icing sugar, the egg whites and glycerine into a large bowl and preferably with a stand mixer or electric hand whisk, whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Place icing into a piping bag.
- You can ice the cake however you like, we like to splodge the icing on to the marzipan layer in little piped peaks all over, but be creative! The icing will set hard, but not teeth crackingly hard – due to the addition of the glycerine in the mix. You can find this in the supermarkets cake and baking sections. It comes in a tiny little bottle. The icing will also help to keep the cake fresh and delicious until you decide to crack it open. What a joy!