Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Christmas cake is a bit of a tradition in our house (and many other households across the UK). My mum used to make one every year but unfortunately it often didn't all get eaten. I asked my brother whether he even liked it (with an idea to put them in our christmas hampers this year) and he said he did. He also said something along the lines of "by the time we had them at home, we were all caked and chocolated out that nobody could face it any more." I realised that this was very much true as the christmas cake often didn't come out until christmas day or boxing day. Thankfully, it keeps very well.
For the first time in my 22 years, I decided that I needed to conquer my fear of making a christmas cake. I decided that if I made one big cake I could cut it into 4 and ice each quarter and give them for christmas. That way, nobody had a huge cake to deal with and I got to be a bit creative. Everybody wins.
So, I searched the internet for a good recipe. I read forums, I searched recipe sites. I wanted something that had been used by people and had been successful, that way I was already at a head start. I ended up with this recipe from Delia. I know, I know, it's a terrible thing but, what can I say? The lady knows how to make a christmas cake. I used her scaled up version for my 8" pan and it turned out beautifully.
I made a few alterations (they were very minor as I wasn't confident enough to make big changes). I added 100 grams of nuts (as that was the packet size) and I used a tub of cherries and left them mostly whole. I also used Sailor Jerry rum as my booze of choice as I think the vanilla and lime flavours will go really well with the fruity cake. It smells divine.
So I baked it about 3 weeks ago and am feeding it every Friday with more Sailor Jerry (about 1 or 2 tbsp) to keep it moist. I'm storing it wrapped in greaseproof paper and then wrapped again with foil and it should be fine like that until I'm ready to ice it. I'm so excited about this as I've never even attempted anything like this before.