Christmas-cake rusks

Christmas-cake rusks

No December holiday is complete without a cookie jar chock full of delicious home-made rusks. These Christmas-cake rusks also make the perfect gift for a loved one this festive season.

Recipe, styling and photograph by Katelyn Allegra

Christmas-cake rusks

Serves: Makes 50
Total Time: 1 hr + 6 hrs/overnight, to dry

Ingredients

  • 300g salted butter
  • 185g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 580ml buttermilk
  • 60ml (¼ cup) spiced rum (optional)
  • 500g cake flour
  • 40g baking powder
  • 2 tbsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 500g wholewheat flour
  • 100g pecan nuts, roasted
  • 100g almond flakes, roasted
  • 290g fruit-cake mix
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 120g marzipan, grated
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 200g glacé cherries

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 40 x 30cm rectangular baking tin with baking paper. Set aside until needed.

2

Melt the butter and sugar together in a large saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

3

Once cool, whisk in the eggs, buttermilk and rum, if using. Set aside.

4

Sift the cake flour, baking powder and spices together in a large bowl. Add the orange zest, wholewheat flour, toasted nuts, fruit-cake mix, mixed peel, grated marzipan, cranberries and cherries. Mix until well combined.

5

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture. Stir until just combined.

6

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking tin and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the slabcomes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool in the tin.

7

Remove the slab from the tin and, using a serrated bread knife, cut the slab into 2,5cm-wide strips and then cut each strip into 8cm-long pieces. Arrange the rusks on baking trays and place them in the oven. Keeping the oven door ajar, set the temperature to 80˚C and leave the rusks to dry out, about 6 hours or overnight.

8

Store for 2 – 3 months in an airtight container at room temperature.

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