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Christmas Cake.

(135 Posts)
beardsrock Mon 28-Sep-15 15:43:39

Not sure if there is already a thread about Christmas cakes, I had a quick look but can't see anything so thought I'd start one!

Here is the cake that I will be making.

This will be the third year that i have made it and it has always been a success. I plan to shop for the fruit this week and then make it next week, I think it's bad luck to make it before October grin

Lat year I used a mix of raisins, figs, dates, currants and cranberries for the fruit and I was very happy with the result. I'll use the same fruit this year and plan to feed it with Glenfiddich and port.

The smell whilst the fruit is steeping in the pan is incredible! and has to be taste-tested of course

Snausage Mon 28-Sep-15 15:53:05

This is the recipe I use! I've used it for the last 3 years and it is delicious each year without fail. I change the fruit and add dates and dried cherries in place of some of the currants and figs. I also tend to use a little more booze for steeping than is strictly necessary, and I feed the cake vast quantities sufficiently in the run up to Christmas.

My fruit is all steeping now (I put it in a tupperware on Saturday) and I will bake the cake this weekend coming, I think. I love this run up to Christmas!

beardsrock Mon 28-Sep-15 16:03:21

Oh, yes, cherries! I totally forgot about cherries. I usually use the glacé ones, but the dried ones could be really good.

The one you put the link to really looks like the one I make, I guess it's the lighter sugar that makes the difference.

Christmas cake is the one thing that I cannot stop eating - it's just soooo bloody good. I never ice mine as I hate marzipan and figure there's enough calories in it as it is!

Snausage Mon 28-Sep-15 16:15:24

Oh, beardsrock, a Christmas cake is not a Christmas cake without glace cherries! I just have dried ones, too!

I adore Christmas cake. It never goes to waste and keeps so well. I tend to make two as my brothers and mum love it iced and my DP doesn't! I like it any which way. I love having a slice in the afternoon in January or February with a cup of tea when it's really cold out and it conjures up such vivid memories of Christmas smile

PotteringAlong Mon 28-Sep-15 16:17:23

I've never bothered before but this year we are having Christmas at ours for the first time and I'm almost most excited about the cake! I will check out the recipes above later - I haven't picked one yet.

I was going to make it at October half term; is that too late?

ObiWanCannoli Mon 28-Sep-15 16:57:35

I need to ask as I make a vegan Christmas cake, I use the vegan societies carrot cake recipe and oomph it with pineapple and alcohol but I make it the week before I need it.

Could I feed a cake with pineapple in, it also uses oil and vinegar over eggs.

I like the idea of this but not sure if it would work.

SailingNovice Mon 28-Sep-15 17:11:03

I've been thinking about feeding my Christmas cake with Vodka. Has anyone tried this before?

Snausage Mon 28-Sep-15 17:20:26

PotteringAlong That won't be too late! Some people make their cakes well in advance, others just a week before. October half term will give it please type of time to mature.

ObiWanCannoli I've never made a vegan Christmas cake before, nor have I used pineapple. I'd be wary of feeding a cake made with fresh or Tinned pineapple because it's already got a high liquid content. If it's dried pineapple you're using, I wouldn't have thought it'd be a problem.

SailingNovice I've always used something with more of a flavour like brandy or Cointreau or whisky or port. I don't see why vodka wouldn't work, but I don't think it would have the richness that I (personally!) love in a Christmas cake. I have, however, soaked my fruit in gin before. That was delicious. I'm making a few Christmas cakes this year: gin, calvados and whisky soaked fruit and then each one fed with the same booze.

I hear that some people eat their Christmas cake with strong cheese! I have never heard of this before, but I am definitely going to try it.

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Mon 28-Sep-15 19:02:45

I usually do a slightly amended version of Delia's cake, but this year my parents are coming and my mum is coeliac so I need a gluten free recipe. Last time we had them for Christmas I did a BBC one with a lot of ginger in it: it was OK but I'm wondering about looking for something else this year.

PotteringAlong Mon 28-Sep-15 19:12:13

I love eating Christmas cake with cheese! A slice of Christmas cake topped with a slice of Stilton is a thing of true beauty!

beardsrock Mon 28-Sep-15 19:37:09

Wow, snausage, Christmas cake with Calvados! Now there's a thought. Bet that is gorgeous.

Will you eat all the ones you make or do you give them as gifts?

Yup, eating cheese with Christmas cake is a real tradition in Yorkshire - eaten with Wensleydale of course. It's surprisingly nice. I remember being surprised as kid when my dad got the cheese out with the cake but it really works.

Sailingnovice, I've never tried vodka but sure it would work but as snausage said might not add much flavour.

Heard of some people adding orange juice if they want an alcohol free one, or do you need alcohol to preserve the cake until Christmas?

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Mon 28-Sep-15 19:52:27

I usually alternate between feeding my cake with whisky and orange juice, because I don't like it to be too boozy.

My FIL uses cold tea to soak the fruit he uses when he makes Christmas puddings for some Muslim friends of his who don't drink alcohol.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 28-Sep-15 20:42:05

I make a cake if I have visitors. My DH doesn't eat it, my DC are hmm , i end up throwing away mos of the cake if it's just me.

I had a look at Nigel,Mary Berry, Nigella but they seem heavy on fruit.

I make a light fruit cake (Delia recipe but caster sugar, nuts,cherries,no treacle or spice. Lemon/orange rind not candied peel)

YY to cake and Wendsleydale .

I'm wheat free but not coeliac so this year I'll have one slice and tell my innards to behave themselves.
I don't want to make a gluten free/dairy free cake to suit me when there are 5-6 people who will eat regular cake.

I do mine much nearer the time too.

SailingNovice Mon 28-Sep-15 21:43:01

ooo might give calvados a try instead, thanks Snausage

Snausage Tue 29-Sep-15 11:23:01

beardsrock I won't be eating them all! Two are gifts! smile
As for soaking it in something non-alcoholic, I'm not sure that it would keep brilliantly. I would definitely make it closer to the time.

sailingnovice I love calvados! It's a real treat, so I don't mind using it for a Christmas cake!

For me, a Christmas cake must have booze and spice and be nice and heavy. It's like a pudding, rather than just a cake. Christmas isn't Christmas without an incredibly decadent cake. About 10 years ago I was going to be on my own for Christmas (I was single, working and couldn't get time off to go and be with family who were all in Australia that Christmas). I bought a cake in October and fed it brandy until just before Christmas. The boiler broke down and my mum's rescue dog ate three of her cats and I was all alone and I ate the whole cake and went to bed. It wasn't so bad.

beardsrock Tue 29-Sep-15 15:08:44

I'm the same Snauage. The cake has to be dense and heavy and almost a meal in itself.

It makes me think of a medieval Christmas, eating the cake after roast goose and honeyed carrots. And you store it for months and it would just improve with age!

Love your story about eating the whole cake - when I was pregnant I ate pretty much the entire cake on my own! I remember convincing myself that it was good for me and the baby as the fruit was full of iron wink

Snausage Wed 30-Sep-15 09:33:05

beardsrock I am a Christmas cake FIEND. I'm always disappointed by cakes that aren't heavier than bricks and that don't get you drunk by just inhaling the alcohol fumes!

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Wed 30-Sep-15 18:42:30

I'm thinking I might try this one:

To be honest, I don't even really like fruit cake! But DH does, and my coeliac mum does. And I enjoy making and decorating it!

Snausage Wed 30-Sep-15 20:39:28

Ooh, I've never made a gluten free Christmas cake before. That recipe looks lovely! Mine has ground almonds in it, too, so I think that the texture might be similar... What booze will you use?

Tory79 Wed 30-Sep-15 20:43:30

Can I butt in and ask a question?
I want to make my cake at the end of October. We are away the first two weeks of December. Does it matter if it's not fed in that time or should I be asking mil to sherry the cake as well as water the plants?!

ShowOfHands Wed 30-Sep-15 20:45:32

This was my cake last year. Alcohol free and diabetic. My first effort. It was bloody lovely. Birthday cakes are more my thing usually.

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Wed 30-Sep-15 21:03:37

Snausage I normally use whisky.

Tory I reckon it'll be OK. Give it a good slosh when you get back!

Snausage Wed 30-Sep-15 21:08:40

YouAndMe good call!

Tory79 It'll very absolutely fine. Some people feed their cake weekly, others fortnightly or monthly.

flightywoman Wed 30-Sep-15 21:19:07

I soak my fruit in a mixture of whatever booze I decide to use, some orange juice and tea.

I think soaked fruit means I don't need to feed the cake - once it's baked and cooled I wrap the cake in cling and then put it in a plastic food bag and put it in a dark cupboard. No feeding, and it's just fine as it is!

And the recipe we all use in our family is a combination of my old school recipe, the Good Housekeeping adapted for the fruits I've chosen - dried cranberries and sour cherries - no glace cherries because they are disgusting! - and italian Cedro if I can get it, it's a wonderful candied peel, no glace peel. Fresh lemon and orange zest, spices...

We all love christmas cake, and I love making it!

annandale Wed 30-Sep-15 21:25:57

I studied Delia's recipe with a furrowed brow for a few years and always chickened out of making it, it looked SO complicated.

Since marrying a Christmas cake fancier, I found a Mary Berry recipe that was super simple. I like adding chopped dried apricots instead of chopped mixed peel which is the devil's toenails and thought this year I might feed it with apricot brandy, or would that be over the top? Possibly an opportunity to feed it with sloe gin of which DH is an enthusiastic maker though neither of us drink it much

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