Sunday, 11 November 2012

The 2012 Christmas Cake

For the first time this year, I have baked my own Christmas cake. This year, I am doing a cake decorating class at a local college, and the end result is to have our own Christmas cakes iced to our own design. This will show off all the techniques we have learned, and I have lots of ideas for mine (which I have to have settled on by this Thursday! I'm not good at decisions!).

But the first thing we had to do, was bake our cake. Our tutor gave us a recipe, but I found another I wanted to try which was the Bettys Tearoom recipe. You can find it online here along with their Christmas pudding recipe.

I altered the recipe slightly, because I fancied putting in some different fruit, and I also wanted to use rum. Partly because this is mine and my boyfriend's preferred spirit, and partly because I already had some in! (I originally wanted to use amaretto but didn't have any). So, I soaked figs, dates, raisins and glace cherries with the zest and juice listed, and quite a lot more than the amount of alcohol stated! I left this for a few days before using it.

The rum soaked fruit added to the cake batter

I'll be truthful here - this was the second cake I made. I had a baking disaster with the first one. I was reading the recipe off my netbook screen, so had to keep scrolling up and down to get the quantities needed for each step. Which was fine, until I forgot to check when I got to the instruction "add the beaten egg" and only added one. There was meant to be three. Suffice to say it was very thick, and didn't "set" properly even after 3 hours of baking! So I had to chuck that one out and start again.

Here it is before baking:
All ready for the oven.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it once I took it out, but it went a lovely deep brown colour, and very shiny on top. Quite moist looking too. Yum!

Last Thursday we covered our cakes with marzipan, and some of the girls had to trim their cakes flat. Most of them had used the recipe our tutor had given them, but not one of us had followed our recipes to the letter, and everyone had used different fruit and alcohol. All were delicious, and we had to stop ourselves scoffing all the scraps. Our tutor has taken the crumbs away to make us some christmas cake truffles, so we're looking forward to Thursday!

So for now, here is my cake. I will post again once I've fully decorated it, and maybe, if you're lucky, I'll post a picture of once it's cut!

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