by James Martin
from James Martin’s Christmas Feasts
I said I would have a go at this alternative recipe and let you know. It makes a huge loaf and I feel the dough is a bit too sticky so it spreads more than I would like in the oven. It doesn’t hold it’s shape the way a bread recipe does. Nevertheless it taste’s delicious and was ideal as an constantly being interrupted kind of recipe-so I recommend it to breastfeeding and otherwise lots of people to deal with mothers.
I did change some of the ingredients. I used bio yogurt because that’s what we had and I used cinnamon and Mixed Spice (sometimes called Christmas Spice) and I quickly soaked the fruit in a little orange juice rather than adding rum.
I must admit I don’t like grams-I’m a pounds’n’ounces kinda girl and I like the American cup measurement which is simple and sensible. If it’s any help it is about 2 and bit cups of flour-just over 1lb.
So give it a go.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
500g plain white flour, sifted
2 pinches Salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
15ml Baking powder
200g unrefined caster sugar
a few drops vanilla extract
a few drops almond extract
30ml dark rum
1 large lemon, finely grated zest
1 tsp cardamon seeds
10ml ground mixed spice
40g chopped mixed candied peel
250g Crème fraîche, or thick greek-style yogurt
2 large Eggs, beaten
250g natural-colour marzipan
25g melted butter
icing sugar, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease a baking sheet.
2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the baking powder, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, rum, lemon zest, mixed spice, suet, dried fruits, almonds and peel and mix well. Stir in the crème fraîche and eggs to form a nice firm dough.
3. Put on a floured surface and gently roll out with a rolling pin to form an oblong about 30 x 45cm and 2cm thick. Form the marzipan into a sausage shape the length of the dough. Fold the top of the dough over the marzipan, and seal well. Fold under the ends.
4. Place on the baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. The cake will spread slightly – don’t worry this is quite normal.
5. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack with a piece of foil underneath. Brush liberally with melted butter and dust with plenty of icing sugar. Leave to cool.