Cake, Sweet

My 2013 Christmas Cake

The celebrations might be over but Christmas isn’t officially finished till all the decorations have been put away and… you’ve eaten all of the Christmas Cake!

I love a rich fruit cake and our Christmas cake is the only cake that I spend 2 months loving crafting.
Feeding the cake is fun and seems to be a challenge to get as much alcohol in it as possible.

This year our cake was drowned in brandy.

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I really wanted to spend a lot more time decorating our cake after spending so much time making it but like everyone else I came down with a winter cold.

Suddenly my plans became a rush to try and get the cake decorated so it was at least covered. I went for a simple design and decided to make it a bit more personal with a little Darth Vader head.

Next year I will think a bit more of the design but I was just glad to have something done.

Food Ramblings

Inspiration needed for a baker with no artistic talent, who needs to decorate a Christmas cake.

After finally making my Christmas cake and feeding it with a lot of alcohol in a short period of time, I’m now stuck with the dilemma of how to decorate it.

Last year was quite easy as I had been to a cake decorating course and we made our decoration ready to put on; unfortunately, this year I’m on my own.

I have basic skills with regard to my artistic talents.
You know those people who say they aren’t very good at drawing but are actually fantastic? Yep?  … well, I’m not one of them.
I’m in the realm of making snowmen, penguins and anything else that a 5 year old can design.

I do have a skill of being able to ice a cake extremely quickly and quite well (I was the fastest in our class!) but I’m not sure what to put on it.

I have gel colours, glitter, shapes, cutters, modelling tools, and my new addition of silver spray… all I need are some ideas.

Help?!

Food Ramblings

Finally feeding my Christmas cake

After my first Christmas cake attempt that went completely wrong, I have finally made my Christmas cake (big yay) and I am now trying to squeeze as much alcohol into it as I can before the time comes to decorate it.
This year I think the alcohol is going to be a mix of whatever we have sitting in our drinks cupboard.  So far my cake has enjoyed the remains of a bottle of dark rum and a splash of Amaretto.  My husband has informed me that one area of the cake is going to have extra alcohol in it as he tried to feed the cake and ended up dropping the bottle cap – guess it will be a lucky dip cake.

Fingers crossed that this cake will taste as good as my previous years but I have complete faith in the recipe as it is a classic Delia Smith one which can be found here – Delia’s Recipe.  There are a 2 certainties in life, everyone will die at some point and if you follow a Delia Smith recipe to the letter it will work.
Now, Delia isn’t my favourite chef and a lot of her recipes I find quite dated but when it comes to a classic like this, you really can’t go wrong.

If you’ve been making your Christmas cake then let me know how you’re getting on with it. Only 2 1/2 weeks to go till we get to try them!

Food Ramblings

Christmas cake fail

I’m very late in starting my Christmas cake this year as usually Halloween signals the start time, but I thought its better late than never.

Unfortunately my first attempt only managed to get half way through before it ended up in the bin due to a catalog of errors leading to its eventual demise!

I knew it was going to go wrong from the start when I bought the wrong eggs.
Now they weren’t wrong as in quails eggs instead of hens, but what I had bought was eggs from caged birds instead of free range ones by accident.
Although this probably wouldn’t bother many people, it really bothers me and makes me feel guilty.

Next I forgot to buy butter so with a very unhappy baby screaming very loudly in the car, my husband had to nip into the shop to buy my butter on the way back from the supermarket.

Still, not to be deterred I plodded on with my cake recipe but I only got as far as creaming the butter and sugar together when I thought the mixture might not have been right as it didn’t look smooth. Turns out I’d not used fine brown sugar!

Although this was frustrating I thought it might have been ok to carry on till I made one fatal error – I dropped half an egg shell into the mixture.

Not a problem just take it out you might say? … well, I would have done if my Kenwood was not whirring round at the time. Not all the patience in the world could rescue picking out tiny bits of egg
shell.

So I decided it had all gone far too wrong and bagged and banned it.

Tomorrow I will try again and hopefully this time it’ll go right, because no one wants a bad Christmas cake with egg shell in it.

Cake, Sweet

Making my own birthday cake

Usually I like to make birthday cakes for family and friends but for my birthday this year I quite fancy a Christmas cake.  Well, I don’t think it will be decorated as a Christmas cake but I want a nice dark fruit cake that has been soaked in something alcoholic (I might use Amaretto) and then covered in marzipan and icing. Mmm.   To be honest, just thinking about it is making me really want to eat it now but the best cake is matured over 2-3 months so there is no chance of it being ready tonight.

For my Christmas cake I usually start at the end of October, which this year might be a little more difficult with the baby coming along but I will try to make it anyway, no matter how tired I am or whether I’m making it at 3am.

My birthday is on the 10th August, so I will need to start soon to be able to allow it to mature (unlike me on my birthday). I think I might do it this weekend! I don’t know what recipe I will use yet as I have used a couple of different ones the years I have been making it but when I find it will let you know, especially if it is the best taste.  It is probably weird making my own cake but I don’t mind because it just gives me an excuse to make a cake!

In the mean time, I will bake a small light fruit cake. Something similar to a Simnel cake would be easy to do and I can still marzipan and put icing on it.

Simnel Cake Recipe from BBC