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Christmas cake help!

(23 Posts)
Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 09:17:31

Hi, I've never made a Christmas cake before but I'm planning on doing my 1st one this year. Now my OH can't stand sultanas or cherries. I could get away with the cherries I think but not sultanas. Is there anything I could sub this for or what extra fruit would you use? And lastly, what recipe do you all follow that's easy but nice?

ALemonyPea Sat 28-Oct-17 09:18:52

You could substitute with apricots or dates?

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 09:24:03

I've purchased so far, candied peel, raisins, currents and cherries.

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 09:26:37

Oh thanks al dates are a no go but I could work with apricots. I know I could leave the sultanas out of the recipes I've looked at but I still want it to be full of fruit. My other option would be to kick the OH out lol. Fussy bugger

Heratnumber7 Sat 28-Oct-17 09:33:15

How does he feel about raisins or currants. Either would be a suitable alternative.

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 09:40:56

herat he doesn't mind raisins or currents. I was thinking just to add extra of these in to substitute for the sultanas but as I'm not the most confident baker I didn't want to mess it up and then get to Christmas and it not be edible lol. I think I'm going to add dried apricots instead of sultanas. What recipe do you follow? I'm using brandy as I Have a a full bottle that's not going to get drunk. I may be adventurous and make 2 and let the kids decorate the 2nd one.

StatueInTheSky Sat 28-Oct-17 09:44:16

i'd just put them in and tell him they are all raisins

seriously I am a right foodie know it all type and would say it's impossible to ID a sultana from a raisin from a currant once it's been squished into a christmas cake.

I think your OH is being silly! grin

ZenNudist Sat 28-Oct-17 09:51:41

I cant imagine Christmas cake without sultanas/raisins/currants (which all taste the same to me).

My fruit mix is just sultanas cherries and apricot this year (what i had in). I also use more nuts and less fruit some years

FlaviaAlbia Sat 28-Oct-17 09:56:17

He'd have to be good to identify sultanas from raisins in a fruit cake!

But replacing them with raisins and currants will work if you want to humour him. I use whatever I have in for fruit cake and generally it makes no difference to the finished cake.

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 10:12:26

I agree with you all. He knows the difference in the packet but in the cake he probably wouldn't know. I think it's because his mum never used them in hers just all the other stuff why he says he doesn't like them. I've never met anyone so bloody fussy. As I haven't got any I wont use them to humour him and just buy some apricots.

StepAwayFromCake Sat 28-Oct-17 10:31:42

I never differentiate between sultanas and raisins when cooking, unless I want a particular colour). So freely sub raisins for sultanas. But not currants. IMO too much currants gives for a drier texture.

Apricots are good, but get the pre-diced ones. Whole apricots give a slightly mushy texture.

I never buy 'mixed fruit'. Instead I use the amount of raisins/sultanas specified in the recipe, tot up the weight of all the other dried fruit and make it up with dried cranberries, dried chopped apricots, glacé cherries, chopped mixed peel, etc.

Christmas cake is generally a very robust, highly customisable recipe.

StepAwayFromCake Sat 28-Oct-17 10:32:58

Forgot to include currants in my list!

Blankmonjay Sat 28-Oct-17 10:41:24

Having tried various recipes I settled on this about 15 years ago and never intend to make anything else. You can leave out the nuts if you want and adjust the spices (and obviously use whatever fruit you want).

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 11:21:46

Thank you all. I'll go with raisins, currents, candied peel, dried apricots and the cherries. I think I'll leave out nuts and maybe top with almonds.

GingerIvy Sat 28-Oct-17 17:26:51

dried cranberries?

Heratnumber7 Sat 28-Oct-17 18:00:06

I don’t know how he can tell the difference between a raisin and a sultana in a cake either.
But I’d suggest raisins are a better substitute for sultanas than apricots are because they are the same fruit. Apricots are completely different.

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 21:40:04

It's not so much in the cake that he would notice, it's before it's put in. If he knows it's in there he probably wouldn't eat it. I think he'll like apricots though. It's probably a mind over matter thing. If I put sultanas in and said I'd only used raisins he probably wouldn't even know lol

Pythonesque Sat 28-Oct-17 21:52:46

When I make Christmas cake I do use sultanas and raisins and currants but agree with all above opinions that just raisins and currants will be fine. (probably not the very large dark strong flavoured raisins I rememer my mother using when I was a child though - but properly large raisins haven't been much availale for some years I think). Then you can use a whole range of other dried fruits according to taste, cost and availability! I normally use mixed peel, glace cherries, preserved ginger, dried pineapple and papaya. Have used dried apriocots before. I haven't ever used dried cranberries.

The key thing I think is to chop all your dried fruit into sufficiently small pieces.

Hope you enjoy the process of making the cake and get excellent results. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get my fruit sorted out soon (I lke to soak it in orange juice or aldohol before use ...

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 22:47:07

You are very welcome. I want to get mine made soon and i know I'll need to steep my fruit in the alcohol before hand. Im hoping it's a success as we normally pinch some of my mum to eat with some cheese. Always get funny looks off the DC eating cake with cheese but it's delish grin

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 28-Oct-17 22:56:32

Prunes are very good in fruit cake. You need to chop them up a bit so they are a similar size to the raisins/currants/sultanas.

I always make this one but I don't bother with the business of separating whites and yolks as I don't think it makes any real difference to the end result. It is wonderful, very rummy, extremely moist, full of flavour. I don't bother with marzipan or icing as I'm not that keen on them. I suppose if you wanted to decorate it you could do a pattern of glace fruits and/or nuts. We don't usually get round to it till around New Year and it keeps us going for a week or two after that. We just put the fruit to soak today. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sat 28-Oct-17 22:57:34

PS You're so right about eating Christmas cake with cheese! Are you in Yorkshire? That's where I first came across that.

Tuttytoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 23:04:41

Oh all this talk of cake is making my mouth water. I cannot wait to be eating some Christmas cake. I won't ice it, maybe put a few almonds on top. I may make 2 (1 smaller made with tea) and let the DC decorate that with marzipan. Yes Christmas cake and cheese is so nice, we always eat digestive biscuits with white cheddar too! We are from Liverpool. It was my OH who recommended it to me as his dad always had it.

StepAwayFromCake Sun 29-Oct-17 01:24:13

Oh yes, definitely with cheese. Davidstow cheddar, or a nice, tart, crumbly Lancashire. Mmmm.

I don't usually use a classic Christmas cake recipe any more, I prefer Dan Lepards Dundee Cake. It ices just as well, absorbs booze just as well and keeps just as well as a classic Xmas cake, but tastes even nicer.

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