'Tis the season to be jolly...
Classic Christmas Cake
Some things just get better with age... and with two months to mature this ever popular centre piece to your Christmas feast will be one of them.
There are many versions of this much loved classic, from light to dark, crumbly or moist, round or square and iced or plain. We’ve gone with Delia Smith's Classic Christmas Cake. It's a round cake which we’ll decorate later and, sticking to tradition, we shall be using a healthy splash of booze.
Whilst we start by getting a good nights sleep, the fruit is left to party with the brandy. Once plump and boozy, the fruit is folded into creamed butter, eggs, treacle and rich dark brown sugar, along with a generous helping of nuts, citrus zest and spices.
The cake takes around four hours to bake and requires a ‘collar’ of baking paper around the tin to help protect it from the heat of the oven. As there is no additional raising agent, save the eggs, the cake should stay nice and flat - this will make things much easier when we come to decorate it.
Once cooled, the cake is generously ‘fed’ with more brandy, before being wrapped in greaseproof paper and left to mature. We could leave the cake alone until Christmas, but we’re going to make sure that we continue to feed it with brandy over the coming weeks so that the finished cake will be rich and moist with a boozy kick.