The Musette: Christmas cake

In general I’m not overly fond of fruit cake, especially Christmas cake. I find all too often that it’s dry with a burnt, bitter after-taste – even the expensive versions. However my family and husband all love fruit cake so, a few years ago, with the prospect of them spending the festive season with us in France, I decided to try to come up with a cake we’d all enjoy.

Firstly I eliminated a number of ingredients found in the more traditional recipes, such as candied peel, glace cherries, treacle, grated apple, currants, spices and nuts. Mine was only going to be made with dried fruit which I had macerated for two weeks in dark rum and honey to make it really plumptious. I cooked the cake in a shallow baking tray so that it didn’t need to bake for days hours in the oven. I then topped it with home-made marzipan and soft royal icing. It was a triumph and now no Christmas is complete without a couple of my cakes.

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