Classic winter fruitcake

Classic winter fruitcake

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins


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 and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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    For the decoration

    • 1 egg white
    • 50g caster sugar
    • small bunch black grapes
    • holly or bay leaves
    • 20cm/8 inch round fruitcake
    • 1-2 clementines



      The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

    • 1-2 just ripe figs



      Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…

    • a few kumquat



      It looks like a small, oval orange, but the kumquat, which originates in Asia, is a member of…

    • a few physalis (Cape gooseberries)
    • approx 65cm red or gold ribbon

    For the frosting

    • 2 egg whites
    • 175g icing sugar


    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.

    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).

    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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    22nd Dec, 2007
    I made this cake a few weeks ago and iced it today and it look FANTASTIC. Everyone that has seen it has complimented it, even my sons who rarely compliment anything! I hope it tasts as good at it looks....
    20th Dec, 2007
    Hi ASF The frosting is based on a classic cooked meringue quantity of 85g icing sugar to one egg white - so for 2 whites that would be 170g, but our nearest conversion is 175g/6oz. I wonder if perhaps the problem you had was due to variations in egg sizes (I used large but they do differ). Also the water under your bowl may not have been quite hot enough to cook the meringue as you whisked. With enough cooking and whisking this mix should come up really nice and thick. Also, is there a chance there may have been a speck of grease in your bowl or on your beaters? That's a very common cause of floppy meringue. It sounds like you were happy with the result in the end - many thanks for your comment and if anyone else has the same problem do let us know. Merry Christmas! Jane
    3rd Dec, 2007
    I made this frosting which was great, however I think the proportions are slightly out! Use 1 egg white to 175 g icing sugar. 2 whites made mine far too runny. Is this right?
    28th Nov, 2007
    Test using italian meringue for longer stability. Could also try sugar frosted fruits


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