Delia Smith's Christmas Cake!!

(41 Posts)
BlueGuinefort Tue 09-Oct-12 19:10:19

Aaaargh! It said don't even look until 4 hours. I took it out after 2 and a half bloody arsing hours and the bastard thing is burnt to a crisp.

Is she utterly mad? Four hours!?!!!

DH is currently carving off the burnt bits and insisting that all will be well...

racingheart Tue 09-Oct-12 20:40:07

The one thing that woman can't do is bake! She probably has an Aga that takes nine hours to roast a new potato.

Don't worry. Cut off burned top, turn it upside down and douse it in liquor. Once it's iced you'll love it.

SecretNutellaFix Tue 09-Oct-12 20:41:07

I had to put a baking parchment top on mine last year, to prevent the burning

joanofarchitrave Tue 09-Oct-12 20:46:16

A colleague of mine has a warrant out for a Citizen's Execution of Delia because she followed this recipe for a relative's wedding cake - with the same results.

Nothing less than a prime-time apology broadcast from Delia will do.

FrillyMilly Tue 09-Oct-12 20:47:39

Oh no I've bookmarked her recipe for my Christmas cake!! Not sure what to do now.

kiwigirl42 Tue 09-Oct-12 21:12:05

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Catsmamma Tue 09-Oct-12 21:15:51

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LFCisTarkaDahl Tue 09-Oct-12 21:20:09

It works fine if the whole thing is packaged up in paper, twice round.

I made 3 last year, so yummy I need to make 4 this year. I do agree it needs more wetness in it, I added more booze.

Milliways Tue 09-Oct-12 21:37:02

I use her recipe every year - with the double layer of greaseproof paper on top (and steam hole cut) and brown paper wrapped around the tin. It's lovely and I always worry it is not cooked through!

Did you make allowances for a fan oven temp?

BlueGuinefort Tue 09-Oct-12 21:38:46

I did the paper thing Nutella - round the sides and over the top.

I don't even like bloody christmas cake. Seeing as its for him, DH has chipped off the charcoal and declared it a success.

Frilly - you could do as Catsmamma suggests and add more booze (I did) and then bake for a fraction of the time? Not sure...<baking failure>

FrillyMilly Tue 09-Oct-12 22:25:35

Sod it. I think I'll just buy one. All that fruit and alcohol is expensive!

ant3nna Tue 09-Oct-12 22:28:32

This is my fourth year of making Delia's cake and I've never had such a disaster. Perhaps because I don't have a fancy fan oven or anything, just a rubbish cheap one. Do you have a fan oven?

I never wrap in paper, only put the double layer of greaseproof on top...

BlueStringPudding Tue 09-Oct-12 22:30:09

I wrapped ours in brown paper, with the double layer of greaseproof paper on top, and took it out after 3.5 hours and it was just right.. We always add lots of alcohol to it every couple of weeks, and it ends up being really moist by Christmas.

Northey Tue 09-Oct-12 22:30:37

That recipe is notorious for this problem. She wrote it in the 70s when (apparently) ovens were less efficient. I tinker each year, and last year wasn't too bad - no brown paper (because I had none), temp reduced by 50 degrees and cooking time reduced by a half.

I have been making it for years and the only year I had a disaster was when the thermostat had failed on my oven! I have a gas oven though - have never been able to make cakes well in an electric one (there was one in our house when we first moved in, soon changed it for a gas one). I do wrap the brown paper round and use the greaseproof on top though.

Ah, I also have a 17 year old oven, so maybe that's why mine works well.

ouryve Tue 09-Oct-12 22:35:23

Sounds like it might be the same one I did a few years ago. I checked it really early and it was already quite caramelised, too.

vamosbebe Tue 09-Oct-12 22:44:38

I soak my fruit 'n' stuff overnight in enough brany to completely cover it, none of this 'three tablespoons' shit for me, then douse it regularly and generously. The only time I burnt one to buggery was the second time I made it and cooked it at the farenheit temperature but on celsius sad I was 8 months pregnant at the time, in my defence.

I'm looking online but can't find any info about a fan-assisted oven - does anyone have the book handy? Have just moved to a place with a fan-ass oven, much to my hatred as it's burning everything, I have visions of ds' first real Christmas being ruined by Mummy crying over burnt cake!

Mine usually takes longer than the recommended time in Ye Olde Gasse Oven...... I guess Delia originally used a gas oven or old-fashioned electric, so maybe people with more modern ovens need to reduce either the temperature or the cooking time to get the best result.

I also agree the amount of brandy for soaking is a bit on the stingy side - I usually tip more in! blush

didireallysaythat Wed 10-Oct-12 18:09:38

I'm doing the Pink Whisk xmas cake recipe this year - didn't get on with Delia's when I tried it....

jellycat Wed 10-Oct-12 18:14:40

I've made it loads of times - never had any problems. Have you checked the temperature of your oven? Ours is quite old and gas so maybe the newer electric fan ovens are a bit too fierce. Deffo needs more booze than she says, I agree there, and it needs to be well wrapped. What a shame for you, it's a really lovely cake!

The Mary Berry Christmas cake recipe is lovelysmile

CharlotteBronteSaurus Wed 10-Oct-12 18:29:50

the stuff about old gas ovens makes sense
her recipe works perfectly for me, but everything else I cook in our knackered antique oven takes four times as long

TeaOneSugar Thu 11-Oct-12 07:47:24

I did the Waitrose one this year, a very similar recipe (more booze though), but it gives you permission to use a bag of mixed vine fruits - which saves having lots of part used bags of rasins etc. left over.

I had to take it quite a bit earlier than it said (and cover the top with foil for the last 30 mins), my oven always seems to take a bit less time.

LoveMyBoots Thu 11-Oct-12 08:12:46

vamosbebe Try reducing the temperature of your fan assisted oven by 20 deg C. Your baking shouldn't burn then...

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