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Last minute Christmas Cake

This is the perfect recipe if you've not had time to make a traditional Christmas cake. It gives you all the flavour with none of the hassle also it's fab for those folks who prefer something a little lighter. Pictured here made in a 22cm ring tin, but can just as happily be baked in a 2lb loaf tin, this will also work in a lined and greased 7inch loose bottomed cake tin, it takes the same time as the loaf tin.
150g soft butter
  • 120g soft light brown  sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 220g self-raising flour
  • 1-2 tsp of mixed spice
  • 200g mincemeat
  • Icing sugar
  • Juice & zest of a clementine
  • 75g toasted flaked almonds
  • 15 glaze cherry halves

Preheat the oven to 170˚c (for the ring tin)
Preheat the oven to 160˚c (for the loaf or loose bottomed tin)

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until light and creamy, fold in the mincemeat and clementine zest.
Spoon into greased 22cm ring tin, 2lb loaf tin or indeed a 7 inch loose bottomed tin, making sure they are all well greased and lined for the later two. 

Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 mins for the ring or 70-80 mins if baking in a 2lb loaf tin *see headnotes for 7 inch tin or until firm to the touch. 

Keep an eye on the cake just over half way through the bake and if it starts to colour to quickly cover with foil.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Toast the flaked almonds and pop to one side to cool. Mix together the clementine juice with enough icing sugar to make a thickish paste, Drizzle the cold cake with the icing, sprinkle with the toasted almonds finally add the glaze cherry halves. I also used the clementine leaves with a little gold lustre spray to decorate.
*I have to say it is quite tricky to remove from the ring tin, far easier to remove from a greased and lined loaf or loose bottomed tins. But  on the plus side the glaze icing does cover a multitude of sins.

*Also you could add 200g of marzipan made into walnut sized balls and frozen for 20 minutes, then pushed into the batter just before baking.