6 January 2021
If you’re feeling down after all the partying in December, then never fear as Russian Christmas is here! To help celebrate it in style we’ve opened up our Vodkatopf (a slavic cousin of the Rumtopf) and used the fruit that’s been stewing in the vodka since summer to make a booze-infused fruitcake.
In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on 7 January – the Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar whereas Russia switched to the latter in 1917. The switch created a 13-day lag between the calendars so, for followers of the Orthodox faith, Christmas Eve falls on 6 January and 13 January marks the end of the old year
To make the vodkatopf we poured vodka over layers of different fruits as they appeared over the summer. The apricots, cherries and raspberries of early summer were followed by peaches and plums to make a great , fruity vodka for shooting or mixing. As an added bonus, the preserved fruit went into a the fruitcake mix. We decorated the cake with melted white chocolate and crushed almonds and used pumpkin and pomegranate seeds as the finishing touch.
Ingredients (for 6 – 8 servings)
- 325 g vodka-soaked mixed fruit (soak overnight in 250 ml vodka or other spirit if using dried fruit)
- 90 g olive oil
- 100 g honey (or golden syrup for a vegan cake)
- 175 g plain flour (we used rice flour for a gluten free cake)
- 50 g mixed nuts
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 25 g desiccated coconut
- One teaspoon baking powder
- One teaspoon each of cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
- 25 ml vodka
- 100 g melted white chocolate
- pumpkin and pomegranate seeds to decorate the cake
- Line a 15cm cake tin with a double layer of parchment paper, this will help stop the cake from burning
- Sieve the flour and combine with the coconut milk, vodka, 30 g of chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, baking powder, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and stir together to make a thick batter
- Melt the honey into the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over a low heat and stir.
- Combine the honey and oil mix with the batter.
- Stir in the soaked fruits into the batter, along with any leftover liquid.
- Layer the batter into the prepared tin and use a spatula to spread it level.
- Melt the white chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl over a pan of boiling water.
- Spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the cake, sprinkle some mixed nuts over the icing and then decorate with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds.