Seasonal Recipes: Yes, it’s that time of year again….

So it’s late October, it’s getting cold and blustery outside and the clocks are about to go back, plunging us into eternal darkness (for about three months or so). That can only mean one thing…….

Goddamn straight, Noddy.

For the first time I’m having a go at making a Christmas cake; I wanted to keep things traditional so I got my Mum to send over my Great-Grandmother’s recipe. I spent a good time converting all the ingredients into metric from the original list and then found the scales did that for me; not the first time I’ve been outsmarted by simple technology. The 8″ cake tin is lined with baking paper on the inside, and then with newspaper on the outside to stop burning – the cake doesn’t so much go in the oven as take up residence.

Making it is pretty easy – fruit cakes really aren’t tricky at all, but my initial reaction is “dear god, there’s a lot of mixture here’. Half went in the tin and I used a potato masher to press it down into the nooks and crannies. Rest went in, repeat. It practically came up to the top of the tin – no raising agent to speak of but still…….

Five and a half hours to cook – very low temperature – and forty-five minutes to cool and I can finally take it out of the tin.

Basically, it’s a cake version of the boulder that chased Indy in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Anyway, as per instructed I ‘liberally’ add brandy and leave it to mature. I’ll feed the cake a couple of times before December, and then marzipan and ice in time for the actual holiday season. Maybe I’ll try pudding next…..


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