Friday, 21 October 2011

Christmas cake making....

It's now the time to make my Christmas cake! Brilliant. I know it's naughty but i can't help humming a little Christmas song while i write this post. Although i do draw an (imaginary) line and won't sing or listen to a Christmas song till December, i promise!

As i mentioned before, i used a Nigella recipe last year. It was nice but i wanted to try and make the cake more rich and moist and therefore even more tasty. I am therefore using a different recipe this year. If you want to make your own Christmas cake, you can find a good recipe here.

Firstly, i got all my ingredients together and made the liquor to soak the dried fruit and orange zest in. It's a mixture of Guinness, sugar, butter. treacle and spices. The Guinness is reduced by more than half and then added to melted butter mixed with the spices. Finally the treacle is beaten in resulting in a thick and aromatic syrup.

I then covered the fruit and left it overnight to go all thick and plump and lovely.

The next day i mixed the egg into the fruit mixture and added the flour and baking powder. The cake was then ready to be baked. And it looks like it was going to be a good'un, fingers crossed.

The recipe said to bake the cake for an hour at 160 Celsius. I turned the temperature down to 140 Celsius as my oven is a bit funny like that. The cake ended up taking about two and a half hours in the end, but it was worth it. The great thing about baking this cake is that your whole house smells like Christmas, which i think is the best smell in the world.

I lined a tin with baking parchment. I have been a bit geeky about it and did some research online as i didn't want the cake to burn (which was a slight issue with the top of last years cake). The result was, i covered the top of the tin in foil for the first hour or so. I then took the foil off for he next hour and then placed baking parchment on top of the cake for the last half an hour. See, that is definitely being geeky about it!

 It's all soft and sticky, yummy yum yum.

I will now wrap it in a double layer of baking paper and foil and feed it once a week with a little sherry to keep it moist and make it boozy!

Luckily i won't have to decided how i'm going to decorate it or a good few weeks (as i i keep seeing ideas and changing my mind about how i want it to look). But there will definitely be marzipan, royal icing and lots of glitter!

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