I heard a top tip a few weeks back. If you, like me, missed stir up Sunday but feel a sense of duty to provide Christmas cake for the upcoming festivities, there is a solution. Take one solid carrot cake recipe and stir in a whole load of fruit, more than you think, and bake. I'm told the quantities should be 1:1 cake to fruit (and when I say fruit it could be currants, raisins, apricots, dates, zest, prunes, figs, cherries, apricots, cranberries....). Cook until just firm, cover with lovely marzipan and the pretty white icing from packets. Decorate. It can be done in an afternoon, with a one year old helping, I can vouch for that. This was the recipe I used -
Christmas Carrot Cake
225g unsalted softened butter
225g light brown sugar
200g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
a pinch of salt
225g grated carrot
450g dried fruit, chopped
1/ Preheat oven to 170 C
2/ Butter a 20cm deep springform cake tin that is 7cm deep and line with baking paper.
3/ In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4/ Sift the baking powder, cinnamon and flour and salt into a bowl and add half of it to the cake mixture, mix to just combined then add the 2nd half.
5/ In another bowl, combine the grated carrot & fruit and stir this into the cake mixture.
6/ Spoon the cake mixture into the tin. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack until completely cold before you ice it. Then go crazy with the decoration.