Maria Ibini Written by Maria Ibini

Christmas Cake Recipe – A Classic From Ragus

It’s that time of the year when you need to start thinking about making your Christmas cakes, so Ragus has come up with the perfect recipe to make life simpler for you as the festive season draws nearer.

The idea behind making a Christmas cake a few weeks before the big day, is so that all the flavours of the dried fruits baked together with the spices, eggs, flour, and butter have time to mature, and react with one another, which in turn makes the flavours more intense. Ideally, a Christmas cake should also be fed at regular intervals with a little of your chosen alcohol to produce a deep, moist, rich-flavoured cake.

Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon dried fruit, honey and spices were added to the porridge mixture to give it more flavour and texture, and finally Christmas pudding was born. The traditional Christmas fruit cake that we all know, and love, is a derivative of the Christmas pudding.

Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

One of the key ingredients in a Christmas cake is black treacle, a product that Ragus makes and supplies to manufacturers world-wide. Ragus’ Black Treacle is a mixture of 50% refiner’s syrup and 50% molasses. It has a robust flavour similar to Cane Treacle, with a more rounded, smoother flavour than molasses. Black treacle is a thick, dark, sugar syrup which is used in rich bakery products, Christmas puddings, rich fruit cakes, toffees, savoury sauces and marinades for cooking.

For more information or if you need black treacle for your baking visit: http://ragus.co.uk/product-finder/results

Ragus’ Christmas Cake Recipe:

Ingredients
· 225g plain flour
· ½ tsp mixed spice
· ½ tsp ground nutmeg
· ½ tsp ground cinnamon
· Zest of 1 lemon
· 200g butter/margarine
· 200g Ragus’ dark brown sugar
· 2 tbsp Ragus’ Black treacle
· 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
· 800g mixed dried fruits, sultanas, currants, dates
· 100g mixed peel
· 150g glacé cherries, quartered
· 100g blanched, chopped
· 2 tbsp Brandy, Sherry or Whiskey

Method
· Cream together butter and sugar
· Mix in lemon rind and black treacle
· Add beaten eggs, alcohol and stir
· Add mixed dried fruit, spices, candied peal, almonds, cherries* and stir
· Add flour, stirring all the time. Don’t over beat!

*(chop cherries into quarters and coat with flour so they do not rise to the top and stick together)

Ragus is one of the world's leading pure sugar manufacturers. It sources raw sugar from across the world to manufacture sugars, syrups and special formulations from its advanced UK factory. Ragus ships its sugars globally, delivering on-time and in-full to customers across the baking, brewing, confectionary, and pharmaceutical industries

 
To decorate
· 200g/7oz marzipan
· 1-2 tbsp warmed apricot jam

For the royal icing
· 3 egg whites
· 600g sieved icing sugar
· 1 tbsp lemon juice

Ragus Fun Facts:

If you don’t have Ragus’ Black Treacle you can always use Ragus’ Golden Syrup instead. With a distinctive mellow tone, our Golden Syrup performs the same task as invert syrups but with added flavour and subtle golden colour. It is used in baking, biscuits, cakes, flapjacks and puddings.