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Delia Smith Christmas Cake take 2

(22 Posts)
Lollybrolly Sat 17-Nov-12 11:21:47

I have made this cake before, albeit a few years ago now. It was a success and I loved it.

Yesterday I made this cake. Covered with 2 layers of greaseproof paper with the hole the size of a 50p. Wrapped brown paper around the tin twice which was a good inch and a half than the cake tin.

Popped it in my fan oven at 120 instead of 140 and cooked it for 3 and a quarter hours.

Delia says DONT EVEN LOOK FOR 4 to 41/2 hours.

Removed cake and its is rock solid and black. When it eventually cooled I tried to rescue it and after I cut off the burnt bits I have a small uneven square cake that looks rather dry. I have stored it and will be feeding it and hoping once marzipanned and iced it will be OK but its tiny - its the core of the original.sad

So I have looked and I have enough ingredients to make it again. So please can anyone help me out here? With a fan oven how much should I be reducing the temperature by? The recipe says 140 shall I reduced to 100 or will that be too low?

Next question - how long would you recommend at the new lower temperature?

I spent a fortune on ingredients and as I have literally just enough left for this recipe perfectly I would like to attempt it again as I cant really afford anymore ingredients.

Your wisdom,advice and experienced would be very much appreciated.

Lollybrolly Sat 17-Nov-12 12:45:12


NonnoMum Sat 17-Nov-12 12:47:50

Poor you - I have done similar things with Christmas cakes...

The only thing I can suggest with a fan oven is to HALF the time and lower the temp by even more as somehow its viscious...

Marrow Sat 17-Nov-12 12:50:42

Glad I've read this. I am going to make Delia's cake for the first time this afternoon. Will check after two hours!

Lollybrolly Sat 17-Nov-12 19:38:20

Thank you Nonno mum. I will definately be getting it out or at least looking at it after 2 hours. I think I will aim for 100 degrees. I always worry the middle will be uncooked though.

Marrow - definately check it after 2 hours.

I am tempted to do it tomorrow - if so I had better get my fruit soaking. Another tip someone in RL gave me was to be more genrous with the brandy with this delia recipe when soaking the fruit. So will give that a go tomorrow too.

hillbilly Sat 17-Nov-12 20:18:20

This is interesting - I had the same problem about 5 years ago but it turned out that the thermostat was buggered! I make this cake every year and cook it in my fan oven at 140 for 4 hours and it's been fine. Hope your new one turns out well.

NonnoMum Sat 17-Nov-12 23:27:13

Oh - and tons and tons of brown paper on top...

Tailtwister Sun 18-Nov-12 13:06:29

I've nearly been caught out by this in the past. Did you double/triple line the tin and then wrap the outside with newspaper/brown paper? I also make sure I take the height of the lining/newspaper a good few inches above the top of the tin as it provides some protection. Also, I have in the past cut a disc of baking parchment the same size as the tin (with a hole in the middle for steam) and placed it over the top of the cake whilst it cooks. That seems to stop the top from burning.

Was the cake burn just at the top of at the sides as well? It's a nightmare when these things happen. It's not a cheap cake to make either. Hope your 2nd attempt goes better for you.

OhYoubadbadKitten Sun 18-Nov-12 13:09:10

How odd! I make it at 140c in a fan oven and have no probs. takes around 4 hours ish.

Bunbaker Sun 18-Nov-12 13:13:44

I have a gas oven - no fan, and the cake took far longer to cook than the recipe stated. Can I suggest you buy an oven thermometer and check your temperature settings first.

MrsMiniversCharlady Sun 18-Nov-12 13:16:40

I never, ever wrap in brown paper or double line the tin, I just wrap the outside in foil, cover it in foil and leave a hole for steam to escape. I've done it this way for 10+ years and it works brilliantly.

Catsmamma Sun 18-Nov-12 13:23:18

never rely on Delia for cooking times or quantities of booze

ime she likes everything well done and is a filthy miserly scrooge with booze!

I made her cake last year and it is a lovely basic recipe, but it does want a good deal more alcohol to soak the fruit and you do need to know your oven.

I have a theory that modern ovens are a lot less accurate, so you might think you have set it to say 150, but the oven thinks that 175 is near enough, and for most things it might not make a jot of difference but occasionally it does.

I work with a very independent minded range, I have cool, hot and very hot temp gauge on the door, which often bears no real relationship to the temp I have asked for!

Lollybrolly Sun 18-Nov-12 14:19:08

Well attempt 2 is underway.

Its well wrapped with again with 2 layers of greaseproof on the top (hole for team) and a very high double wrapp of brown paper.

It went in the (fan) oven at 1.20pm at 100 degrees. I cant smell it yet - well not from the lounge, I will look at it after 2 hours.

Clary Sun 18-Nov-12 14:23:02

I made delia's cake this year as every year, but in a new oven (moved house) so with trepidation.

Before I used to put in on top shelf of my bobbins gas oven; in the electic/fan oven I now have I put it on the bottom. Set it at 140 i think and after 4 hrs it was just right.

Did yours smell cooked after 2 hrs before? I don't think it matters if you look too soon tbh, it's not like it's a suffle that will collapse! I would use bottom shelf, 120C, check after 2 hrs.

Clary Sun 18-Nov-12 14:23:28

souffle sorry

Badvocsanta Sun 18-Nov-12 14:29:10

If you have a fan oven lower the given temp by 20 degrees and take it out 20 mins before the recipe states.
Also use middle or bottom shelf of the oven and do not preheat.

Marrow Sun 18-Nov-12 18:12:29

Yesterday didn't go as planned so have just made cake this afternoon. I have just checked after two hours and it is nowhere near ready so think it will take around four hours.

OhYoubadbadKitten Sun 18-Nov-12 21:05:33

Are they cooked yet?

I incinerated my Yorkshire puts today after cooking them for 20 minutes. Serves me right for being so smug!

OhYoubadbadKitten Sun 18-Nov-12 21:05:46

Puds, not puts!

Lollybrolly Tue 20-Nov-12 16:27:42

Sorry for taking so long to report back!

I regulary checked the cake after 2 hours and it did infact take 3 hours and 55 minutes at 100 degrees in my fan oven.

I am very pleased with how this one turned out! smile

OhYoubadbadKitten Wed 21-Nov-12 13:28:36


beefox Wed 27-Feb-13 13:38:55

Hi , I make this cake every year for christmas, wrap it well and cover with double layer of greaseproof paper, in a fan oven around 130, and it's just fine. Great cake. It just needs feeding bfore icing, I think.

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