March 2014

March 2014

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christmas cake

There are so many versions of Christmas fruit cake and most have evolved, having been tweaked over the years, as traditional family recipes. Whether it is light or dark, crumbly or moist, square or round, we all have our favourite combination of luxurious dried fruits and nuts, eggs, sugar, flour, and heady spices. A celebration cake, of course, also has some form of alcohol - in my family it has to be brandy!

Thanks to some of my Northampton Clandestine Cake Club members, we recently collected sufficient donations towards the cost of the ingredients to make a Christmas cake to raise funds at a local Charity Food Festival in aid of Cynthia Spencer Hospice and the Haematology Unit at NGH. 

Ready for the oven
So, several weeks ago, using my usual recipe, I soaked the fruits overnight in brandy and made the cake the following day, making sure that the tin was well insulated with several layers of paper – inside and out – so that the mixture wouldn’t burn during the long (4 ½ hr) cooking time.

Marzipan coat
Once baked, I ‘fed’ the cake several times with extra brandy over a 2 week period before it was covered in marzipan, ready for icing. Meanwhile, as decoration, I made several sizes of snowflake and my daughter Laura and I spent a cosy evening painting the flakes with edible sparkly glitter before covering the cake with fondant. Finished, with silver ribbons, it was ready to be displayed at the Charity Food Festival.
Finished Christmas cake

Around 100 or so people attended on the day and it was such an interesting and enjoyable mix of cookery demonstrations – including one from our own CCC member Carmela who is an Italian cookery tutor ( - together with a variety of Northamptonshire food stalls, all selling their local produce. 

Our CCC cake was used in a game of ‘Guess the Weight’ and was won by a lovely lady called Anne Marie Wright, who correctly judged the cake to be 6lbs 4oz in weight.  Including our meagre proceeds, around £2,000 was raised on the day - such a wonderful result for hard-working organiser Jenny Dicks of Bay Tree Cottage Workshops -

Our CCC cake at Charity Food Festival

No comments:

Post a Comment