Healthy Christmas Cake with frosted fruit

Christmas is definitely the time for glorious excess, and while healthy eating should be part of everyday life you can't deny yourself the good things, especially at this time of year.

However those indulgences don't have to be as excessive as you think.

Try this delicious Christmas cake recipe from the Heart Foundation. It has all the taste of the season and you'll never guess it's healthier!

Ingredients

1kg mixed dried fruit
150g glacé apricots, chopped
150g glacé cherries, chopped
50g glacé ginger, chopped
250ml brandy
1 cup soft brown sugar
2 tbsp safflower oil
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g blanched almonds, chopped
1 tbsp lime ginger marmalade
60ml orange juice
2 cups plain flour
½ cup self raising flour
2 tsp mixed spice

Icing
1 egg white
2 tsp lemon juice
½ cup icing sugar, sifted

Frosted fruit
500g mixed fresh fruit
(eg berries, cherries, grapes)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups caster sugar

Method

Put the mixed dried fruit and glace fruit in a large bowl and mix. Add the brandy, cover and stand overnight.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm round or 23cm square cake tin with 2 layers of baking paper. Put the sugar, oil, egg whites and vanilla in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the almonds, marmalade and orange juice. Stir through the fruit mixture.

Sift the flours and spice into a bowl, then fold in the fruit. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin then tap the tin on the bench to remove any air bubbles. Smooth the surface of the cake with damp hands. Wrap several layers of newspaper around the outside of the tin and secure with string to stop the outside of the cake from burning. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 3-31/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre. Loosely cover the top of the cake with baking paper if it starts to darken too much during cooking. Cool completely then cover with icing and top with frosted fruit.

To make the icing - blend all ingredients together until smooth.

To make the frosted fruit - brush the fruit with the egg white, roll in caster sugar and allow to dry.

This healthy Christmas Cake recipe, plus many more guilt-free menu ideas can be found in the Heart Foundation's Deliciously Healthy cookbook. More information about the cookbook, along with other great Christmas gift ideas can be found at www.heartfoundation.org.au or by calling Heartline on 1300 362 787.

 
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