Make all your sweet-tooth dreams come true this festive season with a decadent caramel chocolate Christmas cake! Top it with toasted nuts and star anise for an even more festive look.
SERVES 10 // COOKING TIME 4 hours 15 min, plus cooling time
800 g mixed dried fruit
410 g jar fruit mincemeat
125 ml brandy
250 g butter, melted and cooled
200 g brown sugar
300 g cake flour
150 g self-raising flour
160 g blanched almonds
2½ tsp mixed spice
4 eggs, lightly whisked
2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed
1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 22 cm cake tin with melted butter. Line the base and sides with baking paper.
2. Mix dried fruit, fruit mince, 1 tbsp orange zest and ½ cup orange juice in a pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the fruit has softened.
3. Set aside for 30 minutes, then stir in the brandy. Add the butter and sugar.
4. Combine the flours, almonds and mixed spice. Stir into the fruit mixture. Mix in the eggs.
5. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth out the surface. Lightly drop the tin on to the counter to settle the batter.
6. Bake for 3 hours 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. If it begins to brown on top, cover loosely with foil and continue baking.
7. Brush the hot cake with the warm apricot jam.
8. Cover the cake with foil, wrap in a large tea towel and leave to cool overnight.
Recipe & styling: Amerae Vercueil
Photography: Andreas Eiselen // HMimages.co.za