Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas Cakes

This is a whole new experience for me: I've made a fruit cake before but never a Christmas Cake, and I've never marzipanned and iced a Christmas Cake before.

The cake is a boiled fruit cake, Nigella's Easy-Action Christmas Cake. I made the actual cake about three weeks ago, and it has been sitting in the tin waiting for me to ice it. It was incredibly easy to make, as you just chuck all the fruit in a big saucepan with the butter, sugar, chestnut puree, rum, orange and lemon zest and juice. It all melts down, and then you add the eggs, flour and spices. At this point the kitchen smelt incredible. That mixture of citrus and spice. I absolutely love the smell of cloves and oranges, and usually adorn an orange or five with cloves. I might even do that this afternoon.

The marzipanning and icing was easier than anticipated, because I found a wonderful product: ready rolled icing and marzipan! And then I cut out the stars from the left-over icing. What I did find tricky was cutting the icing around the bottom of the cake - it seemed to go all raggedy, and next time I will have to find some thicker ribbon to cover it with! The stars are covered in glitter for a bit of festive sparkle.

One thing that did make it easier was that we were given a Wedding Present of a rotating board - I think you're supposed to put chutneys and things on it and spin it round so that everyone can reach, but I sat the cake on it and it worked pretty well!

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