Classic winter fruitcake

Classic winter fruitcake

  • Rating: 5 out of 5.4 ratings
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
  • Easy
  • Enough icing for the top

This festive icing is easy to use, looks amazing and makes a lighter end to a meal. The perfect centrepiece for Christmas tea

Nutrition:
HighlightNutrientUnit
kcal0
fat0g
saturates0g
carbs0g
sugars0g
fibre0g
protein0g
low insalt0g
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Ingredients

For the decoration

For the frosting

Method

  • STEP 1

    Lightly beat the egg white in a shallow bowl and spread out the caster sugar on a baking sheet or tray. Dip the grapes and the holly or bay leaves into the egg white, or use a paintbrush. Shake off the excess, then coat in the sugar. Set aside to dry for at least 10 mins, ideally about 30 mins.

  • STEP 2

    When you’re ready to decorate, make the frosting. Put a large bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Put the egg whites and icing sugar into the bowl and whisk for 5-7 mins until you have a thick, very glossy frosting. Use a spatula to clean around the edges of the bowl every so often as you whisk. Scoop the frosting onto the top of the cake and spread it around with a flat-edged knife, swirling as you go to create a snowy effect (see Knowhow, below).

  • STEP 3

    Halve the clementines, figs and kumquats, then arrange on top of the frosted cake with the physalis, frosted grapes and leaves. Fix a ribbon around the base and leave the cake somewhere cool – but not the fridge – until your guests arrive.

RECIPE TIPS
KNOW-HOW

This type of frosting is essentially a meringue, with the egg being cooked by the heat of the water it’s whisked over. For a deep, swirled topping, dollop a few good spoonfuls of the frosting on top, then gently paddle the frosting out to the sides of the cake with a palette or a flat-edged knife. The frosting is more forgiving than other icings in case you make a mistake, although try to avoid moving it around more than 5 minutes after putting it on the cake.

JANE SAYS...

OK, so the fruit probably won’t last more than a day but the point of this cake is that it looks fabulous and is a cinch to put together when time is short. You can also add fresh cranberries, pomegranate seeds or still-intheir skin lychees. If you’re really stuck for time this is also a great way to transform a plain bought fruitcake – but that can be your own little secret!

Goes well with

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    Rating: 5 out of 5.4 ratings
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