Ho Ho Ho here we go, welcome to anyone joining me today in making their Christmas Cake. This will be part one of a 4 part series.
1. Preparing and baking your cake.
2. Feeding your cake
3. Marzipan your cake and make your decorations
4. Ice and decorate the cake.
This is my families tried and tested recipe that I have been using for years. It is an easy recipe to tweak to meet your personal preferences. I will endeavour to lay it out in simple to follow steps, however if you find yourself unsure about anything feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message me at https://facebook.com/whatsatmascaketin and I will answer your questions asap.
First Step: Turn the oven on to allow it to reach the correct temperature.
Fan oven 140C /325F/ Gas mark 3
Step Two: Prepare your ingredients.
Christmas Cake Ingredients:
8oz/227g Unsalted butter
4oz/113g Mixed Peel
10oz/284g Sultanas (If you like a boozy cake soak your dried fruit in your chosen liquor the night before)
8oz/227g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
12oz/340g Plain Flour
1tbsp Mixed Spice
4ozs/113g Glace Cherries
I always start my baking with the ingredients weighed out in separate bowls, it ensures I don’t forget anything in my haste to make the cake.
Step Three; Get mixing
The beauty of Christmas cakes is the simplicity of mixing ingredients. I work my way down the ingredients list mixing each one in turn.
The butter – make sure this is soft and at room temperature it will make it a lot easier to mix.
Next mix in the peel, sultanas, Brown sugar, raisins and currants.
Now mix the flour and mixed spice together this ensures a more even spread of the spices in the cake, now add this to the dried fruit and give a good mix.
Add in the dates and add the juice of one squeezed orange. (Make sure you squeeze the orange into a container first you don’t want to find yourself biting on an orange pip).
The same applies with the eggs, I know it saves time breaking them directly into the cake mixture but egg shell isn’t pleasant to eat so crack them into a separate container give them a quick stir with a fork to break them up and add them into the cake mixture.
At this point you should be starting to get the wonderful smells of Christmas.
Next pour in your favourite spirit, I like to add Whiskey to mine.
Before you add the cherries they will need cutting in halves. This is now time for personal preferences I like to have a large piece of cherry in my cake but if you prefer you can cut them into small pieces. Add the cherries to the mix.
Finally, add the hazelnuts as with the cherries the size of the nuts is personal preference, I cut my hazelnuts in half. I like a good crunch.
All you need to do now is get those muscles working and give the mixture a good stir ensuring everything is evenly combined.
Step Four: Fill your Tin
Start to spoon the mixture into the tin, using a spatula or the back of a spoon ensure that the mixture goes right to the edges. Continue to soon in the mixture and then smooth the top. Give the tin a slight tap on the counter top to help shift any trapped air bubbles then you are ready to place in the oven.
Step Six: Enter the oven
Having heated the oven to Fan oven 140C /325F/ Gas mark 3it is time to place the cake inside. I cook my cake on the middle shelf. Now leave the cake for 4 ½ hrs to do its thing. (Tip set a timer, its very easy to forget and over do the cake).
If you are anything like me after a couple of hours you will want to stick on the Christmas tunes as the kitchen starts to fill with a wonderful aroma.
Step Seven: Remove from the oven.
Before removing from the oven insert a metal skewer/ knitting needle into the cake to ensure the cake is cooked throughout. When removed the skewer should be clean.
Remove the tin from the oven and place on a cooling rack. I leave my cakes in the tin until they have completely cooled. Once cool you should be able to lift the cake from the tin by lifting the paper around the cake.
Place the finished cake on clean grease proof paper, then completely wrap the cake in the paper ensure it is covered all around. Now wrap the entire package in baking foil. Now you can store the cake in a airtight container until you are ready to feed it.
I will be covering feeding the cake in my blog on the 19th November.
I hope you have enjoyed making your cake. Please share with me any photos of your creations and don’t forget I am happy to answer any queries you have.
Tommorow I am going to explore giving baked goods as gifts over Christmas so until then have a great day. x