Get ready for Stir-up Sunday!
Happening the last Sunday before Advent, Stir-up Sunday is traditionally the day when families gather together to prepare their Christmas cake. This year, we’ve partnered with the one and only Richard Bertinet and The Bertinet Kitchen for a very special Christmas cake: a Mirabeau Gin Christmas Cake!
Richard created brilliant recipe using our Dry Gin and incorporating the flavours of the South of France into the cake. Here’s the recipe, and happy baking!
What you’ll need
2 x 6 inch tins
220g light brown sugar
250g unsalted butter
1tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp star anise
8 ground juniper berries
200g blanched almonds
Sprig of rosemary
Sprig of fresh thyme
Pinch of lavender buds
320g chopped apricots
320g dried cranberries
150g glace cherries
150g mixed peel
100g chopped dried figs
85g ground almonds
Zest of a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1tsp orange blossom water
Mirabeau Dry Gin
2tbsp clear apricot jam
4 egg whites
750g icing sugar
4tsp lemon juice
Grease and line two 6inch round cake tins with baking paper.
Toast the blanched almonds in a pan with the rosemary and lavender until starting to become golden and then toss through the honey whilst still on the heat to caramelise lightly.
Transfer onto greaseproof paper to cool.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl. Add this into your butter mixture and combine well.
Toss all of your fruit and whole nuts together in a separate bowl, add the lemon zest, juice, orange blossom water and 4 generous tablespoons of Mirabeau gin.
Stir the fruit mixture through your cake batter until well incorporated. The mixture should be soft and moist.
Spoon the mixture into your prepared tins, level the tops and leave to settle at room temperature for 2 hours before baking. Preheat the oven to 150°c/gas 2 and adjust the shelf to just below the centre.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven for an hour then turn down the heat to 130°c/gas 1 and bake for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes covering the top with a sheet of baking paper to prevent it from burning.
Take the cake from the oven and leave it to cool a little in the tin before turning it out onto a wire rack. When completely cold, wrap it tightly in foil. Once a week make some holes in the cake with the tip of a knife or a skewer, then drizzle a little Mirabeau gin over it and allow it to soak in. Re-wrap and repeat the following week.
For an extra special touch, infuse your Mirabeau gin with a sprig of lavender, 2 star anise, 6 juniper berries, a cinnamon stick and a couple of tablespoons toasted almonds, then use this infused gin to soak your cake.
Heat the apricot jam until liquid and brush it all over the surface of the cake.
Dust your work surface lightly with icing sugar and then roll out the marzipan into a circle big enough to cover the entire cake. Lift and drape it over the cake, and with your hands gently smooth and press it against the top and sides of the cake. Trim it around the base.
To make the royal icing, beat the egg whites until frothy then fold in the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, stir in the lemon juice and glycerine, then beat the mixture until stiff enough to form strong peaks.
With a palette knife, spread the icing all over the cake, lifting the knife up and down as you go to form little peaks that look like snow. Decorate the top with dried orange slices and a sprig of lavender.