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Help me make my first Christmas cake please!

(9 Posts)
birdofthenorth Fri 12-Oct-12 12:40:14

We have hosted Christmas several times but I have always delegated the cake to others (or to Tesco!). This year is going to be a special one as we have family coming from Australia including my twin nephews, so I want to go the whole hog and make my first cake.

Please help:

Which is the best recipe?
When do I start -soon, right?
What are the pitfalls and how do I avoid it?
Will I need fancy equipment or is a mixing bowl and wooden spoon sufficient?!

I am pregnant and it will be offered to young children too so it can't be incredibly boozy. No-one with nut allergies that I know of.

Any advice much appreciated!

sybilvimes Fri 12-Oct-12 12:43:48

The Delia Christmas cake recipe is great. it's really easy to follow and you just need the normal stuff, mixing bowl, cake tin etc. the recipe is easily found if you google delia's Christmas cake. Sorry, I would link but am on iPad!

Good luck! Oh, and I always make mine over half term, so plenty of time yet.

Anste Fri 12-Oct-12 12:55:22

I'd agree with the Delia recipe too. Don't forget to buy grease proof paper and a bit of string! Good luck and enjoy.

birdofthenorth Fri 12-Oct-12 13:01:07

Great, thanks! I had no idea they take so long to cook. I have never set my kitchen timer for 4.5 hours before!

Any tips to stop the fruit sinking to the bottom?

Londonista1975 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:05:01

Can't go wrong with Nigel Slater's recipe.

You need to stir the fruit in some flour to stop it sinking.

Taffeta Fri 12-Oct-12 13:26:06

Delia all the way.

Top tips: Soak fruit in alcohol/orange juice mix if you don't want it too boozy, at least 24 hours before you make cake
Check the cake at least an hour before cooking time is up. The Delia recipe is wonderful but was written years ago before ovens were so efficient and unless you have a really old oven, the cooking time is much less than stated.

You just need a bowl and a wooden spoon, and a cake tin and some baking paper and string. Plus all the ingreds, obv. grin

birdofthenorth Fri 12-Oct-12 13:58:03

Excellent, thanks all. Feel less nervous now!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 12-Oct-12 14:10:50

Wrap the outside of your cake tin with brown paper
Line your tin (at least a double layer) and if you do a square one, spend a bit of extra time making the lining paper fit neatly- much better end result.
Put a sheet of greaseproof with a hole cut out (size of a 10p) on the top.

Check and weigh everything in advance.

Your fruit shouldn't sink because it's a heavier cake. I soak fruit in Amarretto , but make sure you wash the syrup off cherries with boiling water and dry.

Don't let anyone near the oven while it's cooking.

Delia recipe for me but I amend it to sultanas and white caster sugar to make it lighter. Fresh orange and lemon not candied peel.

Is licking the bowl allowed when you are pg (raw eggs) otherwise you'll need to delegate the task (not a hardship, mmmmmmm raw cake wink ) to your DH.

dementedma Fri 12-Oct-12 19:11:04

I make one every year and have never ever done the brown paper and string thing and it always seems to work. Maybe I've been lucky. Doing the one in this months GoodFood magazine - it is pretty straightforward but will soak fruit in brandy the night before

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