Mother-in-law and I are not very fond of nuts in Christmas cake or pud' so it came to pass that in 2001, derived the following Christmas cake recipe modification of Prima Magazine November 2001 to our taste. Last year to make non-alcholic cake I subsituted Stout for apple juice, and did not feed the cake port, or used brandy in apricot jam in cake decorating. Last year one these non-alcholic cakes was not decorated, left wrapped up in an air tight tin until July. When we did eat it on holiday in the caravan it had matured into a lovely rich moist cake, and was lovely with a bit of cheese, personally enjoyed it more in a deck chair on the beach than ever do during the bustle of Christmas.
12oz SR flour
1 large tsp mixed spice
9oz roughly chopped glace cherries
9oz roughly chopped dried apricots
9oz roughly chopped dates
9oz dark brown sugar
grated zest of an orange
5tbsp Stout (Murphy's or Guiness)
Preheat oven to gas mark 2.
Greaseproof Line 3*2lb loaf tins
Beat butter and sugar to together. In a jug beat the eggs, slowly add and beat into the buttered sugar mix until fluffy. Once all the eggs have been beaten into the mix, until have an even mix. In another bowl mix all the dried fruit, add the stout and the mixed spice, add the grated zest of orange, stir into the fruit. Stir in the sifted flour to the egg mix until smooth mix. Stir in the dried fruit mix, into the cake mix. Spoon even quantises of the mix into the tins. Bake in the oven Gas mark 2 until cooked, i.e. inserted skew comes out clean from the cake, approximately 2 1/2 hrs. Rest in tin for 1/2hr, then place on wire rack. Once cool wrap well in greaseproof paper, place in air tight tin. Once a week pour capful of port over each cake, until when you want to decorate the cakes.
3tblsp Apricot Jam
In a pan, gently warm the jam, stir in the brandy.
If marzipaning the cake, coat all the sides to be marzipaned with the jam/brandy mix. Roll out marzipan and coat around all the sides to be covered with marzipan. Leave in air tight tin for a week. Make royal icing coat over the marzipan.
Alternatively, dry fruit decorate the cake, spread the jam and brandy mix over the top of the cake, decorate the top of cake with halves of glace cherries, dates, and apricots. Coat the dried fruit cake decoration with coat of jam and brandy mix.