Traditional Irish Christmas Cake
This is my version of a recipe that I found on the Irish Culture and Customs website under traditional Christmas dessert recipes. It should be started as early as possible, up to two months in advance, to allow the Irish whiskey to be absorbed thoroughly.

1 lb Citron, chopped
1 lb Chopped Dates
1 lb Chopped Maraschino Cherries
3 3/4 Cups Raisins
2 3/4 Cups Currants
1/2 lb Almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb Pecans, coarsely chopped
1 Cup Irish Whiskey

Combine all of the ingredients, cover and marinate for 2 1/2 hours.

Prepare the cake:
1 lb Softened Butter
1 lb Brown Sugar
15 Egg Yolks, beaten until thick
4 Cup All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1 Tablespoon Each - Cinnamon, Cloves, Allspice, Nutmeg
1 1/2 Teaspoon Mace
15 Egg Whites, beaten until stiff

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the beaten egg yolks gradually, beating constantly.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of flour and sift the remaining 3 cups with the spices; then add the sifted ingredients gradually to the butter mixture; beating well after each addition.
  4. Fold in the egg whites carefully.
  5. Take the reserved cup of flour and sprinkle over the chopped fruits and nut mixture and mix well. Then fold the fruits into the batter.
  6. Oil and line a 12-inch spring form pan with waxed paper.
  7. Place batter in the pan. Bake in a 300F. oven for 2 1/2 hours. (Place pans of hot water in the bottom of the oven while cooking the cake.)
  8. Cool the cake and wrap in cheesecloth and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Every five to seven days, re-dip the cheesecloth wrapper in whiskey. Before decorating, glaze the top and sides of the cake with apricot jam, thinned with a little water. This will help the marzipan to adhere to the cake sides.
Almond Paste:
Shape 2 cans of almond paste into a ball. Place on a lightly sugared board and roll into a rectangle 1/8 inch thick. The width of the rectangle should match the height and sides of the cake, while the length should match the circumference. Circle the cake with the almond paste and trim the edges to fit perfectly. Roll up the remaining paste into a ball and flatten into a circle the size of the top of the cake. Place the circle on the cake and trim. Let the almond paste dry overnight. Ice the cake the next day with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing:

  1. Beat 2 egg whites with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until they are the consistency of cream. Beat in 1 pound of confectioners sugar a little at a time. Continue beating, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the icing is smooth and shiny; it will also be very stiff.
  2. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth if the icing is not to be used immediately. Cover the almond paste with a thin layer of icing. Dip the knife in hot water if the icing is difficult to spread.
  3. Decorate as desired.

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