Do you remember my Wedgwood Cake? I loved how that cake turned out, so, when we were talking about the end of term do, I volunteered to bring a fruit cake, knowing that I can make an University related cake. If you are curious about my studies, you can have a look at my Michaelmas term post on my lifestyle blog.
This cake is a version of my favourite fruit cake: Dundee. This time I’ve used home-made Pomelo jam instead of marmalade, as it is a bit bitter and very similar to marmalade. You can use shop-bought marmalade and it would be just as delicious.
I used the all-in-one method and it worked, so no more faffing with the ingredients.
I was very happy with how the cake turned out and it was appreciated by my colleagues and tutors.
Oxford Cake – Fruit cake:
– 225g self-raising white flour
– 175g vegetable spread
– 100g Pomelo jam
– 200g mixed dried fruits
– 100g dried apricots
– 100g dates
– 75g cherries glace
– 3 medium free-range eggs
– 2 spoons of whisky
– 25g blanched almonds
– 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 150C.
Put the vegetable spread in the food processor bowl, add the jam, the eggs, the flour, the blanched almonds, the cinnamon, and the whiskey. Mix the batter until all the ingredients are incorporated. While is mixing, cut the dates in small pieces and the cherries in two. Remove the bowl and add the dried fruits. Using a spoon or silicone spatula fold in the fruits into the cake batter.
Spray oil on the baking tray, put baking parchment on the bottom of the baking tray, and spoon in the cake mixture.
Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 1 to 2 hours. I baked mine for 1 hour and 30 minutes, like last time. You can test to see if the cake is baked by inserting a skewer into the centre. If the skewer comes out clean, then the cake is baked. When baked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the cake on a cooling rack. Leave it to cool completely before decorating.
Oxford Cake – Decorations:
– 100g ground almonds
– 50g icing sugar
– a few spoons of water and orange blossom water
– blue fondant and navy blue food colouring
– white fondant
– black fondant
– brown food colouring
Make the marzipan by mixing the ground almonds with the icing sugar. Add the orange blossom water, just a couple of teaspoons. Pour a bit of water if needed and tip the marzipan onto the worktop. Knead until is smooth. Add more water if the marzipan is not smooth enough. Roll out the marzipan, brush the cake with water, and cover the top of the cake with the marzipan. Keep the remaining marzipan for the decorations.
Put some navy colouring in the blue fondant and knead until the colour is even. Add more food colouring until it gets to the colour you want it to be. There isn’t the exact colour of navy blue fondant in shops that would have been suitable for my Oxford cake. If you are making the cake for another University, start with a lighter colour of the one you are looking for and add food colouring gradually. It is easier if you start with a similar colour instead of starting with white fondant, but it depends on the specific colour you are trying to achieve.
When is ready and you are happy with the colour, roll out the blue fondant, using icing sugar to coat the worktop to be able to roll it out. Brush the marzipan with water and the cake too, so the fondant can stick to it. Cover the cake. Make the sheet of fondant much bigger than the cake to obtain a beautiful finish. Cut off the edges and keep it for future bakes in a plastic bag.
If you can, make the white decorations the day before, but if not, wait for a few minutes before adding them to the cake. To make the books, roll out a bit of black fondant and cut it with a biscuit cutter with round edges. Use the leftover marzipan as pages, it will make the books looking more realistic and old too, just perfect for ones who are studying history. Cover the marzipan with the black fondant and make small indents in the book, to mimic pages. I had to try a few times before I was 100% happy with the books. The cover should be slightly smaller, so the pages are visible to make it realistic, as the pages were lost with bigger covers.
Make a bit of brown icing by mixing colouring with white icing. If you stop mixing just before is fully incorporated, it will look more leather-like and more like a real cover. For the feather I’ve used a mould, but I cut a bit of the smaller feathers, to make it look more like a quill pen. Stick the decorations to the blue icing with a bit of water.
I hope you liked my Oxford cake. I had a wonderful time making it.