For this year's Christmas cake, I've gone for a classic - Nigella Lawson's Christmas Cake. It's the basic one that appears in almost all her books, unphotographed, with weights and measurements for 3 different sized cakes. I often think it's just included for the sake of completeness rather than any excitement on Nigella's part. Perhaps not quite as dazzling as her marzipan fruit cake, or her chocolate fruit cake, but a good reliable cake nonetheless.
She does tweak the recipe from book to book, and in case you're interested, I used the recipe from Nigella Christmas, in an 18cm round tin. It's quite similar to previous versions, except that it contains less varieties of dried fruits, more alcohol (wahey!) and some almond meal. As y'all will have realised by now, I don't usually reprint recipes, (they're not mine to share, so please stop asking me guys!), but if you want to have a go at it, the original Christmas cake recipe is at this website. Love the incredible mid-90's design, complete with pale blue animated background, hehe!
Let's have a look at how it's made...
|Mmm... Muscovado sugar and butter...|
|Spices, flour and almond meal|
|Sultanas, currants and glace cherries, which had been soaked overnight in brandy|
|The all-important lining of the tin|
|Mixture in the tin. I can never get fruit cake mixture to be smooth on top!|
|And finally... baked!|
The aroma was heavenly! I've been feeding the cake with brandy and we'll be having it as dessert for our Christmas dinner this year. So excited to try it!
You'll see it's quite a plain looking cake, and I wasn't able to get it completely smooth. (You can see all the little cracks on top and on the sides.) But do you know what? This means that this year, yes, I will finally be icing my Christmas cake. I'll be doing the whole shebang - marzipan and rolled white fondant and any little extra decorations that I fancy. I haven't done a proper fondant icing before, so I hope it turns out well. For those of you who are more experienced in these matters than I am, any tips for a spectacular Christmas cake? What types of decorations do you like?