Our Snowman encourages the additional rum which keeps this cake moist
One-Pan Christmas Cake
2 1/4 cups golden raisins
1 1/3 cups dark raisins
1 cup currants
1/3 cup candied cherries, quartered
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups dark muscovado sugar (available in specialty food stores)
3/8 cup sweetened chestnut purée (available in specialty food stores)
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons dark rum
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup strained apricot jam
Candied fruits for decorating cake
Nuts for decorating cake.
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch-wide 3-inch-high springform pan with a double layer of parchment paper that extends about 2 inches higher than sides of pan.
2. In a large saucepan, combine golden raisins, dark raisins, currants, candied cherries, butter, sugar, chestnut purée, 1/2 cup rum and the orange juice. Add orange zest and lemon zest, and mix well. Place pan over medium-low heat, and bring to a simmer. Stir until butter has melted, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
3. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to pan. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan, and smooth surface. To keep cake moist, wrap strip of heavy brown wrapping paper around outside of pan, tying it with string; paper should be twice height of pan.
4. Bake until top of cake is firm and dry, and a toothpick inserted in center is slightly sticky, 1 3/8 to 2 hours. Cool on a rack and remove brown paper. If desired, pierce cake several times with a skewer, and pour remaining rum into holes. When cake has cooled, remove it from pan and discard parchment paper. Wrap first in waxed paper and then foil, and store in a cool place until ready to decorate.
5. To decorate, combine jam and 1 tablespoon water in a saucepan. Place over low heat, and stir to make a smooth glaze. Remove from heat, and cool. Paint top of cake with half of the glaze, and decorate it with candied fruits and nuts. Paint a second coat of glaze over decorations.
Yield: 1 8-inch cake.
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