Christmas Cake Making Tips(6 Posts)
Last year I got some great advice from other Mumsnetters about making the Delia recipe Christmas Cake, I had been considering using a Waitrose kit but was persuaded to go independant and have to say the cake turned out wonderful .
I should have been super efficient at the time and made a note of the advice to use again this year, but of course I didn't!.
So, can all you professional cake makers out there, give me some top tips please. I remember there was advice like :
- double the booze and half the nuts
- freeze the cake overnight and then defrost before feeding (stops it being too crumbley),
- cover outside in greaseproof AND brown paper (can't remember if that extended to the top also
But that's about all I can remember!
All suggestions gratefully received.
I remember you! Brown paper round the tin, a piece of card/greaseproof to cover if browning too quickly. Freeze it overnight to mature in a hurry, never heard of the crumbly thing. Double the booze and double the spices would have been my advice. Anyhting else?
I made the waitrose kit today. On the back of that, I would say soak the fruit for as long as humanly possible - the pre-soaked fruit was v. nice! It also made the job short enough to keep everyone's attention.
However.... and the reason I'm here....
The instructions said 2.5-3 hours. After 1.5 hrs (when my timer ran out), the kitchen was full of smoke and DS1 was taking his fire officer duties very seriously. Rescued it just in time (skewer came out clean) and trimmed all the seriously black bits (which still taste really nice - (my last plug for the kit - honest), so hopefully there will be something edible next month.
Anyway, I triple lined the tin with parchment, covered the top, kept the oven low... how low do you go ladies??
Yes, yes ... I remember now .... that was another of the tips !.. soak the fruit for a long time... 2 or 3 days, also more spices (I love spices!) and make sure raisins are seedless (otherwise you get crunchy bits in the cake) and more cherries (less peel).
I ended up using the Delia recipe from her website .... it seemed to work for me ... cooking time is 4 - 5 hours at a low 140C for a 18cm square cake. I remember using my fan oven last year, but worried what temperature to set it. I have a new oven now and the fan temperatures seem much fiercer than my old one, so again I'm undecided what to do.
I didn't double line the tin with greaseproof last year, but will try doing so this year (plus brown paper on the outside). Also, a friend has suggested putting a tin of water in the bottom of the oven to keep the air moist in the oven.
I made my own marzipan last year (easier than I thought it would be), but ended up with far to much so will reduce the recipe this year. I seem to remember brushing the marzipan with brandy, can't remember why - perhaps I just like the taste of alcohol!
Alcohol sticks fondant to marzipan. Best use vodka as colourless.
I've just soaked the fruit for mine. Haven't made one for about five years so it feels like a real thrill. Will also be the first time to bake it in the Aga - Mary Berry says anywhere from 4.5-11 hours . I love the smell as it bakes!
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