Golden amaretti Christmas cake 2016

Golden amaretti Christmas cake

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Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs plus overnight soaking and cooling

Easy

Serves 15 - 20

A mix of trend and tradition, this is one of the easiest Christmas cakes we've ever created, with a virtually all-in-one method that'll save you some stress

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (20)

  • kcal509
  • fat19g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs73g
  • sugars68g
  • fibre3g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.2g
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Ingredients

    To make the cake

    • 1 large orange
      Orange

      Orange

      or-ange

      One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

    • 175g dried apricot
    • 700g mixed dried fruit
    • 120ml sweet Marsala (or sweet cream sherry), plus extra for feeding the cake
    • 250g unsalted butter, softened
    • 250g bag crisp amaretti biscuits
    • 150g light soft brown sugar
    • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 125g plain flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
      Baking powder

      Baking powder

      bay-king pow-dah

      Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

    • 1 tsp mixed spice
    • 50g toasted flaked almonds

    To decorate

    • 1 tbsp apricot cake glaze
      Apricots

      Apricot

      ay-pree-kot

      A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

    • 125g royal icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
    • 750g natural marzipan
    • gold cake spray
    • handful whole blanched almonds
    • 50g crisp amaretti biscuits
    • sugar balls, snowflakes or Christmassy sprinkles

    Method

    1. Grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice (about 120ml/1 cup) into a large bowl. Snip the apricots into small pieces with scissors, then add the dried fruit and the marsala. Cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight.

    2. The next day, rub a little of the butter around the inside of a 20cm round, deep cake tin, then line the base and sides with a double layer of parchment. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

    3. Put 200g of the biscuits in a large food bag, squish out the air, then bash the biscuits to fine crumbs. It doesn’t matter if there are a few nuggets left.

    4. Put the remaining butter and the sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 mins or until paler and creamy.

    5. Mix in the eggs, one by one. Sift in the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and 1 /4 tsp salt. Tip in the crumbs and beat together for a few seconds until evenly mixed.

    6. Fold in the soaked fruit and almonds with a spatula.

    7. Scrape the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Level the top and make a saucer-sized dimple in the middle of the batter. This will help your cake to rise evenly.

    8. Bake for 2 hrs, then turn the oven down to 140C/fan 120C/ gas 1. Cover the cake with foil and bake for another 1 hr 30 mins or until risen and dark golden brown.

    9. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a cocktail stick into the middle. It will come out dry when the cake is ready. Set on a cooling rack and leave for a few hours.

    10. Using the cocktail stick, poke deep holes all over the cake. Slowly drizzle 2 tbsp marsala or sherry over the cake.

    11. When completely cold, wrap the cake in clean baking parchment and store in a tin in a cool, dark place. Feed it every seven to 10 days until you are ready to decorate it.

    12. Unwrap the cake and put it on a flat plate or board (25cm or bigger). Brush a thin layer of apricot glaze over the cake.

    13. Sift a little of the royal icing sugar onto your work surface. Unwrap the marzipan and knead it with your hands until it feels softer.

    14. Sprinkle the marzipan with more sugar and roll it to an even circle about 35cm across.

    15. Lift the marzipan over the cake, smooth it down to the board, then trim with a knife. Don’t cut too close to the cake at first. You can smooth the icing with a jam jar or tumbler, then trim again if you need to

    16. Spray the marzipan lightly with the gold spray. Spread the almonds out onto some baking parchment and spray these heavily.

    17. Break four of the remaining 50g biscuits into nuggets using your fingers.

    18. Mix the royal icing sugar with 4 tsp cold water. It should be thick but run very slowly when you drop it from the spoon. Spoon it over the cake and spread it to the edges, letting it drip here and there. Use a palette knife to help.

    19. Put the whole biscuits on the cake first, then add the broken biscuits and the almonds in-between.

    20. Put 1 tsp icing sugar in a fine sieve and shake a snowy dusting over the cake. Scatter the cake with the sugar balls, snowflakes or sprinkles, then leave the icing to set.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Comments (2)

    greenandblacks's picture

    I'm really disappointed. I followed this recipe to the letter, and I could ill afford to waste ingredients this costly. The deep 20cm tin was completely filled by the amount of mixture this produced, and after baking for only 1 hour 48 minutes the top of the cake was completely black and burnt although the cake was uncooked in the centre (and there were still 90 minutes cooking left at a lower temperature according to the recipe!).
    I assumed my oven must have gone wrong so I tested a standard 3 egg 18cm sponge and it cooked perfectly in exactly 25 minutes which indicates my oven temperature is not at fault. Has anyone else tried this recipe?

    mummywilson's picture

    Oh no!! I had set my heart on making this cake for Christmas. With a rich fruit cake mix I always put a collar of brown paper or newspaper around the outside of the tin and a disc of greaseproof on the top as soon as the top starts to brown.

    Questions (4)

    Sheena B's picture

    Could I use Amaretto instead of marsala?

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Thanks for your question - Amaretto has quite a strong and distinct almondy-sweet flavour which may end up being overpowering the cake. However, if you're a big fan then by all means switch away. An alternative would be to use Marsala or sherry to soak the fruit, then feed the cake with Amaretto at the end.

    Aimee_E's picture

    would be helpful to know what size tin?! thanks

    goodfoodteam's picture

    Hi Aimee,

    Apologies for the omission, we've now added in the information. This cake needs a 20cm round, deep cake tin.

    Tips (0)

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