Delia Smith's Christmas Cake!!

(39 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

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

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

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

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...

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!

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)?

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.

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

vamosbebe Hope the cake went well!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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