greetings in a jar


Christmas cake is a type of fruitcake served at Christmas time in the UK, Ireland, Japan, Philippines and many Commonwealth countries.

A Christmas cake may be light or dark, crumbly-moist to sticky-wet, spongy to heavy, leavened or unleavened, shaped round, square or oblong as whole cakes, fairy cakes, or petit fours, with marzipan, icing, glazing, dusting with icing sugar, or plain. If a Christmas cake is covered in icing, it is quite common for it to be decorated – models of houses, of fir trees or of Santa Claus may be in the array of decorations.

Every year like clock work, it is time for the annual fruit cake. I have a range of recipes for that, collected over the years from different countries, different people and even magazines and news papers. Last year I came across this recipe for Drambuie & Orange Christmas cake, in the Christmas Edition of Magazine Delicious. It was a big success among friends last year, so I decided to make it again this year.

Combined with my absolute dislike for christmas cards, I thought I give a christmas cake instead. And there it was  “Greetings in a jar“.

It is quite simple really. I purchased half pint preserving jars with a lever arm lid with a rubber sealing ring. Make sure you wash and rinse them properly before using. Remove the lids for baking. Fill the jars about half full with the fruit cake batter. place them on the baking tray, insert in the pre-heated oven, fill the tray with water about two centimetre high.

Now, I know the recipe says 140 ºC, but I baked them this time at 125 ºC, and for about four hours. It is more like steaming the cake than baking it. Make sure to refill the water on the tray with HOT water, and DO NOT let it dry out.

Once the cakes are finished, let them cool completely. Drizzle two table-spoon of Drambuie over it, attach the lid and close. The next day you add another two table-spoon of Drambuie. Close again and set aside for a couple of days.

For the decor, brush the cakes with hot orange marmalade, decorate with some dried fruits and nuts, and brush again with marmalade. Drizzle a teaspoon of Drambuie on top, set alight and press down the lid. The fire will burn the oxygen, suck down the lid, close it tight.

All you have to do now is decorate at your hearts content.

Drambuie & Orange Christmas Cake

This recipe is inspired from the 2010 Christmas Edition of Delicious Magazine


125         g               dried cherries
550         g               dried currants
200         g               sultanas
200         g               raisins
150         g               dried apricots
150         g               candied orange peel
100         g               aranzini
200         ml             Drambuie
275         g               salted butter
½              tsp.          fleur de sel
275         g               dark brown sugar
2                                zest of orange
2                                zest of lemon
1                                juice of orange
1                                juice of lemon
5               pc             whole eggs
½              tsp.          freshly grated nutmeg
½              tsp.          cloves powder
½              tsp.          cinnamon powder
½              tsp.          ginger powder
275          g              all-purpose flour
1               tsp.          baking powder
50            g               almond powder
200          g              chopped walnuts
1               tbsp.       black treacle
1               tbsp.       orange Marmalade


          •        Quarter the dried apricots and mix with the rest of the dried fruits in a large bowl
          •        Pour over the Drambuie and mix well, cover with plastic film, and let soak over night
          •        Next day, pre-heat the oven to 140 ºC (Gas-mark 1)
          •        In a mixing bowl combine the dark br

          • own sugar, salted butter, fleur de sel, orange- and lemon zest
          •        Mix with your favorite kitchen mixer until creamy
          •        Add the eggs one by one, scrape down the sides after each egg
          •        In a separate bowl sift the flour, the spices and baking powder
          •        Once the butter mixture is creamy add on top of the fruit mixture.
          •        Add the remaining ingredients
          •        Mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated
          •        Line the bottom of a 20 cm cake pan with baking paper, and brush lightly with butter
          •        Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins
          •        Put in the oven and bake for about 2½ hours at 140 ºC (Gas-mark 1), until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean
          •        Pour a glass of water onto the baking tray holding your cakes to generate a little steam
          •        Let the cake cool completely
          •        Wrap the cake in plastic foil and store over night in a cool place
          •        Sprinkle the cake with 3 tbsp. of Drambuie
          •        Re-wrap the cake and store for a week, and sprinkle again with 3 tbsp. of Drambuie
          •        Brush with hot orange marmalade
          •        Decorate the cake with nuts and dried fruit and brush with orange marmalade again

Published by ChefThomas

… born in Upper Austria’s Wels, I have done most of my growing up in Vienna. Only by sheer accident did I fall into the trade of Pâtissier. After a short apprentice ship at a Viennese Bakery, I was accepted for apprentice ship, at "K.u.K. Hofzuckerbäcker Demel’s Söhne", one of the oldest patisseries in Vienna. Learning the trade from the very basics, as the Emperor two Centuries ago would have expected from a "Pâtissier to the Royal and Imperial Court" (That is what the older Pâtissier still calls himself). I soon took to travel the world. From patisseries in America, to hotels in the Far East, Africa and the Middle East, did I accumulate a wealth of experience, ranging from bakeries to first class restaurants in major hotels to banquets for Presidents, Sultans and Heads of States and other famous, infamous and not so famous people. But the true excitement for me is in the "Viennese Café". Not just as an occupation, but as an institution in it own right.

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