I decided that today was going to be my Christmas-Cake-Making-Day :o) For the past couple of years, it's been a bit of a mad rush around the middle of November to get them made, what with one thing & another - the one thing being Shaun & the other being . . . yep, you got it - Shaun :o)
Anyhoooo - I gathered together all the ingredients, tins, scales, stripy apron, well worn & grubby cook book etc. & set to :o)
Top tip no. 1 - always soak your mixed fruit in brandy overnight. Not only does this plump up the fruit & help keep the cake moist, when you take the cling film off the bowl, you get a nose full of boozy scrumptiousness that reminds you of Christmas :o)
Top tip no. 2 - Lining your tins :o) After you've drawn around your tin on greaseproof paper, fold the greaseproof in half to cut. You'll end up with a better shaped circle to line the bottom of the tin :o)
I had 7 cakes to make today - one large one & 6 smaller ones.
This really doesn't look very appetising, does it ? :o)
But, once it's all creamed together & the flour & eggs have been added, it looks much better. I wonder what it'd taste like cooked just like this, with no fruit. I'll have to try it one day - if it tastes half as nice as it smells, I might be on to a winner :o)
Bung in the mixed peel & glace cherries, along with a good slug of brandy. (Hic !!)
I don't drink, but I do love to make Christmas cakes that have the potential to be lethal !!! :o)
Whack in all the booze soaked mixed fruit & hope to goodness your arm muscles are strong enough to mix, mix mix . . . dig down deep to the bottom & make sure all that fruit is mixed in thoroughly :o)
The mix is so thick, the wooden spoon can stand up by itself :o)
Cake mix poured into the tins & ready for the oven. A slight dip is made in the middle because we don't want the cake to rise to a point.
The sun was shining brightly through the window, hence the golden glow :o)
All that leaves is the washing up . . . . sighhhhhh . . .
Followed by top tip no. 3:
A large cup of coffee & a couple of digestives :o)
Well, I think I deserved them after all that creaming & mixing !! :o)
Four hours later, here they are, all cooked to perfection. Well, almost :o) The one at the back, on the left hand side seems to have done its own thing & risen a bit more on one side. But, not to worry :o) When it comes to marzipanning, I'll just take a big knife & slice it level. However, before that can happen, I need to make a few skewer holes in the bottom of each cake & over the next week or 2, feed them some more brandy :o)
I must remember to tell the recipients to go easy on their medication for a few days before Christmas - I can't have them all high as a kite, can I ?!! :o)
Or can I ?? :o) <cue evil cackle !!>
Part 2 when it's marzipan time :o)