Christmas Recipe 3
Low Fat Christmas cake:
- 225g (8 oz) no pre-soak prunes – pitted
- 115g (4 oz) cooking apples – peeled and grated
- 175g (6 oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 4 eggs – beaten
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 175g (6 oz) self-raising flour – sifted
- 1 tablespoon of mixed spice
- 50g (2 oz) sunflower seeds
- 225g (8 oz) currants
- 225g (8 oz) sultanas
- 225g (8 oz) raisins
- 115g (4 oz) glacé cherries – chopped
- 120ml (4 fl oz) brandy
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease and line a round 20cm (8 in) cake tin, which is 7.5 cm (3 in) deep, with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the prunes and apple. Add the sugar, then beat in the eggs, a little at a time. Press down the mixture to squash the prunes.
- Mix the grated lemon and orange zest, then carefully fold in the flour, mixed spice, sunflower seeds, dried fruit and cherries.
- Gradually add the brandy to the fruit cake mixture, stirring well to distribute the fruit and cherries evenly throughout.
- Carefully spoon the fruit cake mixture into the greased and lined cake tin, pressing it down evenly with a spoon and then smoothing over the top with a palette knife.
- Using the back of a metal spoon, make a slight dip in the centre. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 2-2 ½ hours or until a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre.
7. Leave the cake in its tin to cool on a wire rack. When completely cold, remove the greaseproof paper. Glaze by brushing the top with some warmed and sieved Apricot Jam.
Traditional Christmas cakes are covered with almond paste (marzipan) and then iced with royal icing. However, this method is laden with unwanted calories as both marzipan and icing are full of sugar. There are some equally delicious, low calorie alternatives to decorating a festive cake, such as:
- After brushing with apricot jam, arrange some glacé cherries or dried fruits on the top and tie a pretty ribbon around the sides of the cake.
- Top with some colourful sprigs of holly and tie a ribbon round the cake.
- If the cake is going to be eaten on the same day, cover the top with some fruity fromage frais and then decorate with fresh fruit.
Note: You can store this cake in a cake tin or an airtight container where it will keep fresh and moist for several weeks. Wrap it in foil or greaseproof paper first.