Yes, I know it’s February, but if you read the previous post you’ll see that I’m clearing my backlog of images. Bear with me!
Back in October I had a big of a Christmas moment in the supermarket and decided I wanted to bake a Christmas cake. We just happened to be at the baking aisle, staring at the various Christmas baking necessities…but that’s beside the point.
I didn’t fancy all the faff of soaking the fruit (let alone the expense) so we bought a pack of 2oog ready-soaked fruit for about £2. A fraction of the cost of buying all the dried fruit individually, and also saving the cost of buying a bottle of alcohol which we’d never use up. Ours was pre-soaked in rum and I nearly got drunk on the fumes alone when I opened the packet!!
I spent a little while searching for the ‘right’ recipe, because I realised after buying the fruit, marzipan, and icing, that I don’t actually like Christmas cake that much…usually because the alcohol is overwhelming/it’s dry/heavy. So I specifically wanted to find a recipe that would make a light and moist cake. (By the way, how hideous is the word moist)
I found the recipe here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/christmascake_2359 and apart from exchanging all the dried fruit/brandy for our ready-bought fruit, and using ready-made icing instead of playing about with egg whites, I followed the instructions exactly. That in itself is unheard of for me, I’m much more of a “chuck it all together and who cares if you left the sugar out, it might still be ok” type person.
Anyway…on the afternoon of 24th October (two months before Christmas…eve) I spent the whole afternoon in my kitchen, baking up a storm. Some friends and I were hosting a Clothes Swap on the 25th, so I was baking for that too, and the Christmas Cake was the last thing I made as I didn’t want to put anything else in the oven with the cake.
Here’s the yummy looking batter:
I used my best mixing bowl especially for the photo.
Ignore that little burnt-looking bit. It’s not burnt, it’s extra flavourful ;p
My friend came round whilst the cake was cooking and said that it was like Christmas already. She was also pretty shocked at all the other baked goodies I’d made that afternoon. Bear in mind all this took only 3 hours prep time:
When my cake had cooled I wrapped it in cling film and foil, then chucked it in a Celebrations Tub (airtight) until December 20th, when I marzipanned it. I didn’t take photos of this because I don’t like marzipan and didn’t want to put it on, but my mum made me. Seems I’m still not old enough to ignore direct instructions! The marzipan needed 1 day to set, before I put the white icing on, so I did it ahead of time since I wanted to serve the cake at Small Group on Dec 22nd. Cue mad, frantic times trying to get it iced before everyone arrived!
But, I did get it iced and if I do say so myself, it looked pretty good. (And it tasted good too!!!!)
The little decorations were from the supermarket, £1 for 12, and the ribbon was from my Ribbon Box.
And there you have it, Christmas Cake in February