Christmas would not be complete without a Christmas Cake. Fact.
Everyone's Granny has their own recipe, yet more often than not people buy a shop bought cake. Even those members of my family who decorate their own cakes buy the fruitcake from a Supermarket first. Considering my Mum and Dad were famous for their Christmas Cakes before they had children, I couldn't understand why everyone avoided making their own. If my parents could make one every year without fail...why couldn't everyone else?
So, armed with a near-illegible copy of my parents old recipe, this year I decided to make my own cake.
I was pleasantly surprised with just how easy it is. Though...the proof is in the pudding as they say, and when you've never made a cake before, don't know what its consistency, colour, texture etc should be it's a scary thought offering it up to guests!
Fortunately for me it seems my first attempt was a success! (Though it was some what larger than anticipated and is now nicknamed the monster Christmas Cake.)
So, if I can do it, so can you! I urge all of you to make your own Christmas Cake this year! I have started my own tradition, so why not start your own too!!!
Here is my recipe, I am sure it will not fail you.
WARNING: This is highly boozy! (Though Delia assures me you can replace the brandy for orange juice for a more family friendly cake).
Once you've made this ENORMOUS cake of course you have to decorate it. It you are using the ready-roll marzipan and icing (which I admit I did) then you will have to roll it out thinner so that it covers the whole of the cake. You may also want to use a cake leveller, or just a very big sharp knife to give the cake a hair cut and ensure you have a flat top.
It is then up to you what style of Christmas Cake decoration you go for. Every year my boyfriend decorates his with a variety of plastic figures and handmade snowmen.
This is what my cake looked like last year:
As you can see I went for the novelty factor! Cutting the bricks out took forever, but I was happy with how it turned out!
This year my design was much simpler, but cutting out individual holly leaves was also quite taxing. (Note to self: I must invest in a holly cookie cutter!)
Overall, preparing the cake took me 5 days. Unfortunately for me I could only do it in the evenings, and with the length of cooking time it involved going to bed then waking up at 1am to take it out of the oven. Of course you can be much more sensible and plan a day in which to cook it!
Nonetheless, I will definitely be making my Christmas Cake from scratch again next year! But hopefully I will be able to allow myself a little longer to make it!
I've submitted this recipe as part of the Red and Green Event over at Simply Food. There's still a few days to go so get involved!
Merry Christmas everyone!