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...

Achitophel Fri 12-Dec-14 00:09:23

The ingredient ratios are fine but some tweaking needed.
Spices and mixed fruit can be increased by 10 - 20%
Quantities overall are way (30%) too small (Ditto Xmas puds). Make and KEEP a note of quantities actually required. (Excel useful here You need to fill tin to 5mm from top. Measure the exact volume of your tins to this height and record them in the book to make future calculations easier.
Don't try and mix too big a batch at once - 2 x 8 inch tins max
Spoon in mix into corners/edge first into silicone lined tin.
Wrap tin in 4 or 5 layers of the Telegraph with 3pieces of string up the side.
Use 3 sheets of silicone lay on the top with 1" hole in centre.
If poss test your oven for hot spots with or without fan.
Set timer and leave.
The top will dome. Slice off with sharp knife.
Go to vets. Beg, borrow or steal 220ml syring and 2 inche needle. When cake is cold innoculate with brandy every inch or so, gently pulling syringe out during process so that cake is evenly fed. Next time turn cake over and repeat. A 9inch round and 7 inch square will swallow a whole bottle over 3 - 4 weeks weekly feeding. Keep cake wrapped in 2 layers of silicone and 1 of tinfoil.
Done!

evieprice Sat 22-Nov-14 13:23:43

I know this is an old thread but for anyone coming across it:

I've made this cake every year for a long time now and never have problems. I have made a couple of changes though.

I don't use glace cherries.

I don't always add all the egg. I try, but when it starts curdling, I stop. Sometimes there's as much as one egg left that I don't add - that's okay. The main thing is to really beat it well. It takes a good half an hour to do all the mixing but if it's not done thoroughly the cake won't rise, which means it's more likely to overcook.

I wrap cardboard (from old cardboard boxes) around the edge of the tin, coming up an inch or two higher than the top of the tin. I tie it with butcher's string to hold it in place. (I use one layer of baking parchment with the hole cut in.)

It does take less time than she says, but definitely longer than 4 hours. Once 4 hours is up I find it's fine to keep testing it - and around that time I remove the top paper with the hole.

I have a fan assisted oven, so I set it 10 degrees lower than the recipe says. I've done it in several different ovens over the years and it always comes out great. The only time I've ever had trouble was when I was living in Western America - there, the ovens are a lot bigger, it was 3000 feet above sea level, and the climate was very dry - I don't know which of these factors were actually contributing, but the result was I had to halve the baking time to 2 - 21/2 hours. Once I did that, easy.

Persevere! It's way better than a store bought cake.

lyndseysaxdawn Thu 10-Oct-13 17:46:02

I have this recipe in the oven as we speak in prep for a wedding cake. I have never had a problem with it and my OH declares it the best Fruit cake I have ever made.ha! This is my go to recipe for xmas and weddings etc. Not sure what you guys may have done but I make sure my fan assited is 130 oc. And it goes in for 4 hours. I do the same for the top non fan oven but at 150. Hope that helps.

mosaica Mon 29-Oct-12 19:45:08

I've made Delia's cake several years and every year it was burnt and dry. I always blamed it non my lack of baking experience and never crossed my mind that the recipe might be wrong, as isn't Delia a cooking god?

Pollymagoo Mon 22-Oct-12 12:39:13

Oh you did make me laugh !! Sorry ! I use the all in one easiest Christmas cake recipe in the world. It really is easy and works. If you google you will find it. I think it was from woman and home.

BoiledEggandToastSoldiers Mon 22-Oct-12 11:47:09

I've been making this cake for about 15 years, in lots of ovens, luckily has never burnt.

I do use loads of alcohol and soak fruit for a couple of weeks. I make 7 every Christmas.

It now takes 10 hours in the bottom oven of the AGA! shock

dotty2 Mon 22-Oct-12 11:44:39

In defence of Delia, when I made it a few years ago, it took a lot longer than 4 hours. In fact, we forgot about it, went to bed, woke up in a panic at 2am, dashed downstairs expecting clouds of smoke and it was fine. Actually a little over moist in the middle, it turned out. I think the thing is that ovens are very unreliable at low temps, and some are obviously hotter than supposed to be, mine much lower. I don't have an oven thermometer but keep thinking about getting one for this very reason.

uggmum Mon 22-Oct-12 11:38:53

I did this one last year. I took it out after 2 hrs and it was done. It would have been cremated after 4 hrs.

Cut off the burnt bits and feed it brandy every day. That should help

ArtyFartyQueen Mon 22-Oct-12 11:36:55

I attempted to make the Delia Christmas Cake yesterday and it burnt on the bottom! Tempted to try the Nigella one tomorrow now!

bruffin Sun 14-Oct-12 10:11:57

Ive used the Delia recipe lots of times and never had a problem. I also got a few cheap packets of the Mary Berry kit and it was lovely. But someone on here posted last year they had managed to burn it at least twice, when i had to cook it at least an hour longer than it said on the packet.

Catsmamma Sun 14-Oct-12 10:01:36

Don't know if she'll do it again, but that Mary Berry Christmas Cake Kit was amazeballs last year......tesco reduced them to pennies afterwards and I bought a couple, gave one to my ma as a joke present, cos she makes fabulous cakes.

I was going to do the other one, but she stole it from me as the first one had gotten such rave reviews from all her chums!

aliciaflorrick Sun 14-Oct-12 09:57:37

I make her cake every year, it always takes much longer than 4 hours in my oven it never burns. In fact I'm going to be making it today.

LoveMyBoots Sun 14-Oct-12 09:54:07

vamosbebe Hope the cake went well!

joanofarchitrave Sat 13-Oct-12 20:39:25

A vote again for Mary Berry's recipe. It doesn't have to be as hard as Delia makes it.

WitchOfEndor Sat 13-Oct-12 14:28:39

I'm planning on doing the Delia cake again this year, it was a bit burnt using her timings last year so I'm going to put it in on a lower temperature and take it out earlier.

I do have a question for those who do her cake but don't use her almond paste and icing recipes because I can't be arsed this year how much marzipan and fondant do I need to buy to cover the cake and do a few little decorations ( think trees or snowmen)?

vamosbebe Thu 11-Oct-12 09:17:41

Ooh, thank you *LoveMyBoots smile

Off to buy the ingredients today, very excited. I bake with two friends and we spend the afternoon together chopping fruit, nipping the brandy and talking bollocks!

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...

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.

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

The Mary Berry Christmas cake recipe is lovelysmile

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!

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....

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

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!

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now