Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake with an African Twist Recipe

Christmas Fruit Cake Photo : Karen E Photography

Christmas Fruit Cake
Photo : Karen E Photography

Christmas Recipe Twelve
Christmas Cake with an African Twist

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

I’m ringing the changes and giving you two columns during December. They are about festive-season recipes so cannot be published on the last Saturday of the month as is usual. I shall showcase six recipes today and another six next Saturday - December 22, 2012. The format I have chosen is to highlight the 12 days before Christmas and start with what needs to be done first, working down to the last-minute items which have to be done on the day - the final preparations and putting everything together. African inspired, traditional recipes! I challenge one to get the traditional recipes correct before venturing off into the unknown. Nothing can be better than a chilled glazed gammon in this hot African sun.

Can be made twelve months or twelve days before-hand, pretty much the longer this cake has to stand and absorb as much brandy as possible the more richer and more intensely licentious.

Christmas Cake with an African twist together with a cream cheese frosting and Butternut Powder.

Yields: 1x30cm


  • 450g salted Butter
  • 450g White Sugar
  • 12 whole Eggs
  • 15ml Golden Syrup
  • 15ml Marmalade
  • 450 g Cake Flour
  • 5ml Nutmeg
  • 5ml Cinnamon Powder
  • 500g Cake Mix
  • 100g Citrus Peel
  • 50g glace cherries
  • ½ cup desiccated Coconut
  • 100g, grated Butternut
  • 50g Almonds,flaked
  • 100g Pecan Nuts
  • 250ml Brandy


  1. Cream the butter and sugar well and then slowly start adding the eggs, one at a time.
  2. Add the syrup and marmalade to this, together with the sifted flour and spices.
  3. Add the fruit, butternut, nuts and brandy.
  4. Place this into a double greaseproof lined 30cm springform tin. For extra cake-protection cover the outside of the tin with a few layers of newspaper.
  5. Bake for one hour at 150°C and then turn down the heat to 120°C for six hours.
  6. Store in an airtight container until serving, adding extra brandy as you feel fit.

Butternut powder


  • Butternut, 120g thinly peeled butternut


  1. Take a peeled butternut and continue peeling the butternut so many little butternut ribbons result.
  2. Place onto a paper-lined baking sheet and oven dry on 80°C until crisp and dry.
  3. Cool and then blend to form a powder, sieve if necessary.

Cream Cheese Icing

Yields: enough for the above Christmas cake, this amount can be halved.


  • 500g Thick, good quality Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Icing Sugar


  1. On serving, whisk cream cheese well and add sifted icing sugar, ice the cake and garnish with butternut powder.

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron
Hartford House, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
+27 33 263 2713