I just throw everything into a pan, let the heat from the stove send buttery rum and citrus juices permeating into the currants, sultanas and raisins, add flour and eggs, a can of chestnut purée to give grainy, Christmassy depth, bung the lot into a cake tin and let this stand in a low oven to produce a cake that is as dense, aromatic and fruity as you could hope for. The input from you is mimimal. Culinary self esteem – and Christmas spirit – never came at so low an emotional cost.
You can decorate as you wish, but here I have tried to get a bit artistic and have used my Smooth Hatbox Icing, cutting out a wibbly-wobbly hillscape and some trees and a star with my cookie cutters. The partially iced cake doesn't last as well as a fully covered one, but has a dramatic prettiness, if such is not a contradiction in terms. If you choose to do the same, I'd recommend halving the quantities for the icing.
Photo by James Merrell.
Recipe posted by Nigella