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Christmas Cake Variations

Asked by jack2k6. Answered on 30th September 2016

Full question

I always make Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake for my Christmas cake but is their any way I can change the recipe to be a white Christmas cake (I assume leaving out the cocoa and changing the sugar). I have tried the Gloriously Golden Fruit Cake but I want more of a traditional flavour.

Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Fruit Cake (from FEAST) is an extremely popular alternative to a traditional fruit cake. It has a rich flavour as it is made with prunes, raisins and currants. The cocoa in the mixture doesn't impart a strong chocolate flavour but helps to add depth and enhance the flavour of the fruits. We suspect that if you omit the cocoa and change the sugar then the cake will still be quite dark and rich, rather than "white", due to the mixture of fruits used. The muscovado sugar also helps to keep the cake moist and a white sugar make may make it a little less so.

We do usually suggest Nigella's Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake as an alternative as it uses dried pears and golden sultanas (golden raisins) for a lighter colour. You could use this and change the spicing, adding mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice) and cinnamon rather than the cardamom and coriander. You could also use a combination of raisins and currants instead of the golden sultanas. Otherwise you may like to try Nigella's Simnel Cake. Although this is a cake that is usually associated with Easter, is is a light fruit cake and you may find this is a good alternative. Nigella's Easy Action Christmas Cake is also a slightly lighter alternative to a traditional rich fruit cake. However we would mention that the Chocolate Fruit Cake and the Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake are both gluten free but the Simnel Cake and Easy Action Christmas Cake both contain wheat flour.

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