There’s nothing quite like the change in seasons to get you in the mood for some festive bakes, think spicy ginger, succulent cherries, and a whole lot of treacle. As the autumnal colours fill the pavements you’ll find them making their way into your bakes. This season, Le Creuset’s Christmas campaign Flavour Revival, is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Art Deco with some throwbacks in the baking department. Impress your guests with a modern take on these classic bakes.
Festive Celebration Fruit Cake
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 and a half – 4 hours
- 2kg mixed dried fruit
- 4 x 425g cans crushed pineapple, drained
- 200g glacé cherries, halved
- 500g butter, softened
- 700g soft brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons mixed spice
- Pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- 600g plain flour
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 50g blanched almonds and 100g glacé cherries to decorate
Spiced Snowflake Biscuits (to decorate the cake)
- 100g butter
- 100g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- Pinch of salt
- 250g plain flour, extra for kneading
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- Snowflake cookie cutters, varying sizes
- Snowflake biscuits, different sizes
- Icing sugar
- Rosemary sprigs
- 1 orange
- Gold edible glitter
Preheat oven to 160ºC / Fan 150°C / Gas Mark 3
- Grease the Sauteuse with a small piece of butter and line the base with baking parchment.
- In a large glass bowl place the fruit, pineapple, cherries, butter, soft brown sugar and mixed spice. Microwave on high power for 5 minutes.
- Mix well and add the remaining ingredients. Mix again.
- Place the mixture in the lined Sauteuse and spread evenly inside the pan.
- Arrange the blanched almonds and glace cherries on the top.
- Bake just below the centre of the pre-heated oven for 3½ to 4 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.
Spiced Snowflake Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C / Fan 180⁰C / Gas Mark 6
- Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, mixed spice and salt until light and fluffy.
- Using your fingertips, rub in the flour to make a sandy-like, crumbly texture.
- Add a dash of milk (no more than a tablespoon at a time) and bring the mixture together using a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.
- Knead the dough just a couple of times before turning out onto a well-floured surface.
- Roll out the dough to approximately the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out cookies of varying sizes and place on a lined or non-stick baking tray using a palette knife – at least 4 of each sized cookie is a good start.
- Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden – the cookies will firm up as they cool.
Decorating the Cake
- Sprinkle a selection of different sized snowflake biscuits with a little icing sugar. Position them in a wreath-like fashion around the edge of the cake, placing the larger ones down first and layering with the smaller sizes. To fix in place, put a little icing sugar loosened with a small amount of water onto the biscuit base. This is a great edible glue.
- Entwine approximately 4 sprigs of rosemary in with the biscuits.
- Slice the orange thinly and cut each slice into 2 to create semi-circles. Evenly distribute the pieces around the wreath before sprinkling everything with a little edible glitter.