Some Christmas food preparation needs to be done long in advance of the day. And today, I am talking Christmas Cake!
I am not usually a big fan of fruit cake, but after years of persevering, I found a Christmas cake recipe that I really do like.
This recipe is a two-day process – first the dried fruit needs to be soaked overnight in a mixture of port and mulled wine spices.
I have only done minor tweaking on this recipe – I loathe glace cherries, and so instead I add dried blueberries and cranberries to the raisins, sultanas, candied citrus peel, prunes and fresh ginger. And I add walnuts. I mean, why, oh why, would you have a fruit cake that didn’t have nuts in it!!
This recipe makes a huge cake, and one of the joys of it is that it doesn’t need “feeding” like a traditional Christmas cake does. Once it has cooled, it gets tightly wrapped up in baking parchment and tin foil, and put away to mature, whilst I decide how to decorate it. I usually bake the cake in September or October, and it will last – well wrapped – for months.
It is a bit cracked, like me, but whilst cooking has filled the house with the lovely, spicy, warm delicious fragrance of Christmas.