Following the baking traditions I’ve been sharing with you this festive season as usual, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive showstopper – in the form of a Christmas bundt cake! This year I made a spiced marmalade bundt with crystallised clementine, combining warming spice and the freshness of citrus, perfectly balancing sharp and sweet flavours. This cake is delicious served warm with custard – or perhaps brandy sauce for those who don’t like Christmas pud? To make the cake, you will need:
180g butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
175g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
75g ground almonds
1½ tsp mixed spice
100g Seville orange marmalade (I used homemade)
Zest of 1 large orange
For the icing:
75g icing sugar
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
For the crystallised clementine (makes more than you need):
200g granulated sugar
1 tbsp caster sugar.
Start with the crystallised clementine; the recipe makes more than you need but it is a delicious festive gift – or snack! Peel the clementines and cut into thin slices. Put the granulated sugar and 100ml cold water into a large pan and heat gently, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil and bubble for 5 minutes.
Add the fruit and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peel is translucent and tender. This depends how thick the skin of your clementines is – mine took about an hour. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (110C/ Fan 90C/ gas ¼). Drain the fruit then, using a fork, transfer to a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper and bake until they are dried out – this could take up to two hours.
Put the caster sugar in a bowl. Dip the clementine into it, shaking off any excess, and place on a wire rack to dry for 1 hour.
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 160C/ Gas 3, and grease a 1.5 litre bundt tin really well with butter (I melted it to get in all the crevices) followed by a light dusting of flour. Cream the butter and sugar together using a handheld electric whisk or stand mixer until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes. Mix the plain flour, baking powder, ground almonds and spice mix together in a small bowl. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating after each addition. Add 1 tbsp of the dry mix in between each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining dry mix and beat until smooth. Place the marmalade into a small bowl and stir until loosened slightly. Spoon the marmalade and orange zest into the batter and mix one final time to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes, or until the pan is cool enough to touch. Use a plastic spatula or knife and run it around the edges of the tin if the cake looks like it might be stuck. Invert onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before decorating.
Mix the icing sugar with enough clementine juice to make an icing you can drizzle. Place a sheet of parchment under the cooling rack to catch the drips, and then drizzle the cake with the icing. Top with the crystallised clementine and serve.
What are you baking for Christmas?