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Christmas cake recipes snd when to make it?

(31 Posts)
applegate Sat 02-Nov-13 10:04:50

So last year I made a cake in November and it was definitely a bit dry sad despite me thinking that I had followed delias recipe perfectly, dm made one ten days before Christmas and it was really moist!
So what are your best recipes/tips and when is the best time to make it? ?

MadgeBishop Sat 02-Nov-13 10:08:06

I made mine yesterday.

The fruit was soaked in brandy and the juice of a fresh orange for a week.

Once baked and cooled, wrap well. Feed the cake every week with more brandy. I put holes in the top with a skewer and use a teeny tiny teaspoon to dribble the brandy into the holes.

Ireallymustbemad Sat 02-Nov-13 10:11:15

Ignorant question here. Is the only purpose if making it so early to soak it with alcohol?

Last year I made it a few days before Xmas with a waitrose kit, at half price!, with pre-soaked fruit. It was fine and tasty.

If it's just to soak the alcohol then I may not bother as I'm not too keen on very alcoholic cake but I do wonder if I'm missing out on something fundamental??

MadgeBishop Sat 02-Nov-13 10:15:10

I think making it earlier let's it "mature". A bit like Parkin. Parkin is better a week after it is made and I think recipes for Parkin do say to leave it before eating it - gets all nice and gooey.

applegate Sat 02-Nov-13 11:34:47

Madge, what recipe do you use?

MadgeBishop Sat 02-Nov-13 12:35:01 Paul Hollywood's recipe.

I did use more brandy than it said though (I always do) and I made up the fruit with what I already had in the cupboard. I had some dried prunes and dates which needed using. I always do this with any Christmas cake I make regardless of who the recipe belongs to. I did Paul Hollywoods cake last year and before that have done Delia's and various others.

Paul's recipe states that it needs to be in the oven for 3 hours. Mine took less, but then I did use a square tin rather than a round one.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sat 02-Nov-13 12:39:54

I use Deliahs recipe but am more generous on the booze. Her creole version is nice too.

It's all about feeding. I've found the small spoon size from the Calpol bottle works a treat at getting brandy down the skewer hole. When you feed it the next time, turn the cake over and feed from the bottom, and vice versa.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 02-Nov-13 12:48:41

Delias recipe has a phenomonally long cooking time (there was a thread last year about it)

I did mine last week - a 12" x 12" with divides (so 4 6"x6" ones).

Fruit soaked in lots of Amaretto for 3 days. And the tin lined with greaseproof and silicone paper then brown paper round the sides, underneath and a piece on top with a hole in it (taking NO chances grin )

It was meant to take 4 hours.
It took 2 and a bit.

If I'd left it for 4 hours it would've been a brick.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Nov-13 12:49:26

I do Delia. I soak fruit in rum rather than brandy, and much more of it. I don't add nuts, and add prunes instead. Making today, and will feed with more rum every week.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 02-Nov-13 12:49:37

Calpol syringes are good for cake feeding too.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Nov-13 12:50:19

Oh yes, I check from 2 hours on, and remove as soon as skewer comes out ckean.

Purple2012 Sat 02-Nov-13 12:50:59

I started making mine last weekend - I have a lot to do. I never have a problem with it being dry. I do put extra fruit in and soak it in brandy.

mrsminiverscharlady Sat 02-Nov-13 12:52:02

I wrap the tin in foil before putting it in the oven, rather than brown paper. Works just as well and a darn sight easier!

nextphase Sat 02-Nov-13 14:42:56

My delia cake has been dry before.
I'm trying the much shouted one on MN at the moment - fruit soaking as I type.
I'm going to note the reduced cooking time that seems to be a recurring theme - and check after about 2 hrs.

maybe3x Sat 02-Nov-13 14:49:07

I was just about to post a similar thread to this so thank you! What is the much talked about recipe? My Delia one was a bit dry and I did James Martin one which was the same.

Kinect Sat 02-Nov-13 14:56:01

The other year I made a Xmas cake using a recipe off another forum. It was really easy, it involved stirring some of the ingredients in a pan. I haven't been able to find the recipe since. Does anyone know what recipe I am referring to?

newpup Sat 02-Nov-13 15:17:38

I am making mine tomorrow. I use a really old recipe that belonged to my granny. I soak the fruit for 48 hours in brandy and orange juice. I think the reason for making it a long time in advance is to give it drinks! I wrap mine in tin foil and keep in an airtight container. Every week I open it up make small skewer holes and give it a drink of brandy! By xmas it is lovely and moist. Yummy too. My mil makes hers Xmas week and it is moist but not as 'drunk' as mine. :-) I have found that wrapping it in tinfoil helps too.

newpup Sat 02-Nov-13 15:18:44

Yes I second the medicine syringes to feed the brandy in too. :-)

MsIngaFewmarbles Sat 02-Nov-13 15:41:30

My Nigella one is in the oven as I sit here smile

She suggests wrapping the whole tin in foils straight from the oven to trap in moisture until it cools, then remove from tin when cool and double wrap in foil in an airtight tin. No memtion of feeding it but I will! Great idea about calpol syringes, thanks!

marssparklesdownonme Sat 02-Nov-13 16:00:36

Just taken a Nigel Slater cake out of the oven. I feed it brandy each week until I marzipan and ice it. Its always lovely and moist. I wrap it well in greaseproof and keep it in a tight lidded tin.

applegate Sat 02-Nov-13 16:17:16

Oh now I am wondering if the suggested time for the delia one was too long and that was why it was dry.I might try another recipe though , is the mumsnet one in the recipe section?

didireallysaythat Sat 02-Nov-13 18:49:46

I'm doing the pink whisk one again (the fruit has been in brandy for a month already). Worked last year - if I remember correctly you cook it really low. This year I'm going to make mini cakes in bean tins to give away

dementedma Sat 02-Nov-13 20:03:39

Fruit soaking tonight. Will bake tomorrow. Am doing a boiled fruit one where it is all done in a pan before putting in cake tin. Should be OK

makemineapinot Sat 02-Nov-13 21:28:33

didireallysaythat I'm planning on making mini Christmas cakes in bean tins with my p2/3 class this year but not sure about cooking times! Have you done thus before and gave any tips?! Thanks!

didireallysaythat Sun 03-Nov-13 07:48:53

makemine no I've not done small ones before but the link has the times for smaller tins and I think in last year's comments some one commented on times. When I wake up properly I'll take a look....

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