Saturday, 27 December 2014

Classic Christmas cake | Delia Smith' sChristmas cake | Kukskitchen

lassic Christmas cake  |  Delia Smith' sChristmas cake  |  Kukskitchen

Christmas brings fond memories of my childhood. There would be lent (no meat) for nearly a month, all the sacrifices you make on advice from the nuns and priests of my beloved church, singing at the midnight mass and all the merriment. I did this even in my medical college and house surgeoncy days.  It was fun!

Also, in memory is the Christmas cake and wine served to any one that comes through the door over the festive period. The wine would be home made, sweet wine with a mini-kick. My non-Christian friends would devour the cake.Since I became a home maker after marriage, I have tried many a traditional recipes, but a classic Christmas cake is one that I didn't dare attempt. Until I came across Delia Smith's recipe to a classic English Christmas cake and desperately wanted to try it.

A classic Christmas cake is one that every home cook needs to try once whilst enthusiasm remains. It takes a lot of work and patience, but I tell you it is worth it. The cake has the classic taste, only extra moist. Most importantly it tastes like Christmas. It is a dense moist cake unlike the usual spongy cakes we make. Remember, no raising agent is added.

lassic Christmas cake  |  Delia Smith' sChristmas cake  |  Kukskitchen

A few things before we start:
  • This cake uses a classic recipe. This does ask for dedication and patience. Short cuts do not work in this recipe.
  • Prepare the tin carefully  to protect the cake during the long, slow cooking
  • It can sometimes happen that the beaten eggs are added to the sugar-and-fat mixture too quickly, causing the whole mixture to separate. This breaking-up means that some of the air incorporated at the creaming stage will escape and the finished cake will be slightly heavier. For beginners, the way to avoid this is to add the beaten eggs just a teaspoonful at a time, whisking preferably with a hand whisk. If it does curdle, though, don't worry: the cake won't be as light, but it's not a disaster. 
  • Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than the said cooking itme, but don't look until at least 4 hours have passed.
  • You can substitute brandy for orange juice. I did as I wanted my 5 year old to have the cake too.
lassic Christmas cake  |  Delia Smith' sChristmas cake  |  Kukskitchen
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Classic Christmas Cake
One 20 cm round cake


1- Currants - 450g
     Sultanas - 175g
     Raisins - 175g
     Glace cherries - 50g, rinsed dried and finely chopped
     Candied peel - 50g

2- Brandy - 3 tbsp

3- Unsalted butter - 225g, at room temperature
     Soft brown sugar - 225g
     Eggs - 4

4- Plain flour - 225g
     Freshly grated nutmeg - 1/4 tsp 
     Ground mix spice - 1/2 tsp

5- Chopped almonds - 50g, the skins can be left on
     Grated zest of 1 orange
     Grated zest of 1 lemon
     Black treacle - 1 dessert spoon

  • Mix (1) with brandy. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave overnight, or for 12 hours, for the fruit to soak and absorb the alcohol. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).
  • Prepare the cake tin. Line using a double strip of baking paper, cut slightly longer than the circumference of the tin. Fold back 1 inch (2.5 cm) along its length and snip this at intervals, cutting at a slight angle to the fold. Grease the tin then press the paper around the sides of the tin. Finally, cut a double circle of paper  to fit the base and press into place. Tie brown paper around the outside of the tin. 
lassic Christmas cake  |  Delia Smith' sChristmas cake  |  Kukskitchen

lassic Christmas cake  |  Delia Smith' sChristmas cake  |  Kukskitchen

  • Cream together the soft butter and the sugar until light, pale and fluffy. 
  • Lightly beat 4 large eggs and add this, a little at a time, to the creamed mixture. 
  • When all the egg has been added, sift in (4). Use gentle cutting and folding movements to incorporate this into the mixture to keep in as much air as possible. 
  • Add the soaked fruits to the cake mixture, along with (5). Fold these in carefully, using the same movements as before. 
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with the back of the spoon. 
  • Finally, cover the top of the cake with a double sheet of silicone paper with a 50p-sized hole in the centre. 
  • Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 hours.
  • To test if your cake is done, lightly press the centre of the cake with your little finger – it should spring back and not leave an impression. The cracks, by the way, will close up as the cake cools. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  • Several times before Christmas you can 'feed' your cake – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy. Wrap the cake in a double layer of silicone paper, then in double foil, before storing it in an airtight container.
  • At christmas, dust some icing sugar on top and serve.
lassic Christmas cake  |  Delia Smith' sChristmas cake  |  Kukskitchen

Adapted from: Delia Smith

See also Chocolate banana cake click on the picture

Sherin Deepu

1 comment:

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