Bored of having the same Christmas cake every year? Why not make this delectably moist and fruity cherry cake as an alternative!
350g glacé cherries, chopped.
50g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
2 lemons, finely grated zest only
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
5 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
250g self-raising flour
75g ground almonds
For the topping
small handful blanched whole almonds
small handful walnut halves
small handful red or natural glacé cherries, halved
50g whole orange peel, cut into pieces
100g apricot jam
Heat oven to 160C/320F/Gas3. Grease a 23cm deep round cake tin with butter, line the sides and base with a double layer of baking parchment.
Put the cherries, raisins, currants, apricots, almonds, lemon zest and sultanas into a large bowl and gently mix together until well combined. Set aside for now.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time and pulse, each time adding a spoonful of flour to the mixture as well to stop it from curdling.
Using a metal spoon carefully fold the ground almonds and remaning flour into the mixture. Once mixed together add the fruit and nut mixture and gently mix until well combined.
Now get the cake mixture and pour into the tin you prepared earlier, using a palette knife smooth the surface of the cake.
To decorate the cake, top it with blanched whole almonds, walnut halves, cherry’s and orange peel.
To cook the cake bake in the oven for 2-2¼ hours. Alternatively the cake looks golden brown on top and cooked through (to check it is cooked through insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean its cooked) you can also remove it from the oven. After 1 hour in the oven cover the the cake loosely with aluminium foil to prevent the top becoming to dark.
Once the cake is out of the oven leave it in its tin and set aside to cool, after 30 minutes take the cake out of the tin and remove the baking parchment from the sides and place onto a wire rack to completely cool down.
While the cake is cooling, heat the apricot jam over a low heat, once heated through strain through a sieve to remove any pieces of fruit. Once the cake is cooled brush the warm jam all over the top of the cake. The cake is now ready to serve.