Celebration Rich Fruit Cake

Celebration Rich Fruit Cake

This recipe is for a 20cm round cake, using the All-in-One Method
For the Almond Paste click here
For the Fondant Icing click here
Use a Baking Band or Strip to create an even, level topped cake with no need to trim off excess cake

375g currents
250g sultanas
150g raisins
90g glacé cherries
90g almonds
65g mixed cut peel
1 lemon, grated rind only
3 tablespoons Brandy
250g gluten-free plain flour
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons mixed spice
1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
65g ground almonds
200g dairy-free margarine
225g soft brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons black treacle
5 eggs, lightly beaten

What to do
Preheat oven to 140 C / 275 F / Gas 1.
Lightly oil a 20cm round cake tin and line base and sides with greaseproof or parchment paper.
Make a Baking Band to wrap around the outer sides of the tin. This helps to bake a flat-topped cake.  
This shows a baking band or strip, made from greaseproof paper and damp kitchen towel encased within in it.  The band is secured around the cake tin with string.  This method helps to create a level top, for slow-baked cakes, like very rich fruit cakes.  The outsides of the cake do not bake too quickly, giving the cake mixture time to bake evenly all the way through, without the classic 'dome' top.  You can buy fabric baking bands, but this is so easy to make!

Sift together the gluten-free plain flour with the xanthan gum. 
Then, place ALL the ingredients into an electric food mixer, and mix for 2-3 minutes.
Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth over the top.
Bake for about 3 ½ hours, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  
Test the cake in this way, after 2 ½ hours, and then return to the oven if further baking is needed.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and remove the paper.  
When completely cold, store in an airtight container until you are ready to ice it.

How to cover your cake with almond paste:
If the cake is slightly domed on top, trim off any excess to level out flat.
Place your cake on the serving board which should be about 7-8cm wider than the cake.
First, you need boiled apricot jam to brush the top and sides of your cake with.
To cover the top of your cake, lightly dust a surface with icing sugar, and roll out one-third of your almond paste slightly larger than the top of the cake.  Place on top and trim any excess.
To cover the sides of your cake, roll out the rest of the almond paste into one long strip that is the same width and depth of your tin.  Cover the sides and blend the joined edges carefully.  Check to see if the cake is level on top, and has even and vertical sides. 
At this stage, if time permits, leave the almond paste to dry and harden for about 2-3 days before covering with fondant icing.

How to cover your cake with fondant icing:
On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the paste to about 9cm larger than the top of the cake. 
Brush the almond paste with beaten egg white to help the fondant icing stick. 
Now, lay the circle of fondant icing over the cake, moulding right down to the base, until the cake is completely covered.
Smooth over any lumps.  Decorate as you wish.  I used fake flowers and edible silver glitter sprinkled over the top. 

Tips: Allow the fruit to ‘mature’ for at least 2-3 weeks before eating.
This cake can be safely stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for a couple of months.