First bake: Not a Christmas cake (part 1)

Christmas cakeWell, it’s been a while since my last post, but rest assured that I have been baking! I’ve already turned out several batches of extra rich mince pies (see my post from last year here), but this winter has also seen my first ever attempt at a Christmas cake.

This post is simply about the baking of the cake itself – I actually won’t get round to decorating it until January (long story), so, technically it’s not really a Christmas cake. However, all the principles are there – plenty of dried fruit and lashings of booze!

I used a recipe by Felicity Cloake at the Guardian for her perfect Christmas cake, which was a doddle to make, although I did have to leave it in the oven for a good while. I was originally going to go down the Mary Berry route, but her recipe required a few things I don’t have. I do recommend Felicity Cloake’s column in general – she does a lot of testing and research to come up with recipes that are almost always foolproof.

Christmas cake mix

Christmas cake mix, pre-baking

As my mincemeat is rum-based and I didn’t have whisky as called for in the recipe, I’ve decided to soak this cake in brandy instead. I made the cake at the very end of November and I’ve been feeding it weekly since then. As you can see from the first photo, it’s looking promisingly moist! It smells lovely as well, so I’m really looking forward to cutting into it.

When I do come to ice it, I’m going to attempt a complicated-looking scene involving penguins having a snowball fight. Hopefully, there’ll be a part 2 with pics galore when that happens. If there isn’t, it’s safe to assume that my cack-handed decorating skills failed me again…

The recipe

Perfect Christmas cake from the Guardian