1. 1kg mixed dried fruit (use a mix of raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, cranberries, figs, pear chopped)
  2. zest and juice 1 orange
  3. zest and juice 1 lemon
  4. 150ml Cointreau – and extra for feeding
  5. 250g pack butter, softened
  6. 200g light dark brown sugar
  7. 175g plain flour
  8. 100g ground hazelnut
  9. ½ tsp baking powder
  10. 2 tsp mixed spice
  11. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  13. 100g flaked almonds
  14. 4 large eggs
  15. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  16. Pre rolled Marzipan
  17. Icing

Christmas Cake

1 Put 1kg mixed dried fruit, the zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 150ml Cointreau, 250g softened butter and 200g dark, soft brown sugar in a large pan set over a medium heat.

2 Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Tip the fruit mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool for 30 mins.

3 Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking paper, then wrap a double layer of newspaper around the outside – tie with string to secure.

4 Add 175g plain flour, 100g ground almonds, ½ tsp baking powder, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground cloves, 100g flaked almonds, 4 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.

5 Tip into your prepared tin, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for 2 hrs.

6 Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of Cointreau. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.

7 To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film. Feed the cake with 1-2 tbsp alcohol every fortnight, until you ice it.

8 Don’t feed the cake for the final week to give the surface a chance to dry before icing.

9 before serving place icing on top of marzipan and then cut marzipan and icing to size of the top of cake, lay over the top and then decorate with ribbon and holly 

Recipes from The Walled Garden

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