I don’t know about you, but I like to get ahead with anything to do with Christmas. It’s such a busy time with one thing and another, so there are a couple of things I like to get sorted very early on. The first is my Christmas cake. This is always made between the middle to the end of September. I know this sounds early, but I have to feed it with Brandy (quite a lot) so then it gets lovely and moist inside and oh, so very flavourful. I’m the only one who seems to like Christmas cake, but my parents are over this Christmas and they love Christmas cake, so I’m making a small one for us to eat. I always us the same recipe which comes from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book and it’s her Classic Rich Christmas Cake. Page 91 if you have the book. This book was first published in 1994 and I think I’ve had mine since then. Let’s just say it’s been well used and loved and Mary Berry would be pleased with how it looks. And before you ask, no I don’t want a new one, I love it just the way it is.
The recipe works perfectly every time. This year I’m not using a round or a square tin, but a rather seasonal one. I do have two Christmas Tree tins, but decided on the Snowman tin this year, just for a change. I’ve had them for several years now, can’t remember where I got it from, but it may have been Betterware!!
Once all the ingredients are mixed together, make sure you read the instructions properly. It’s time to pack it in the tin. The oven is on very low and for this size takes 3 and a half hours to cook. I know it’s a long time, but the house smells amazing just before it comes out. Once it’s in the oven cover it loosely with some baking parchment to stop the top from going too dark.
Once it’s cooked and cooled then you can add, the first of many, feeds of Brandy to it. I do 2 lids full at a time. I will now feed every 2 weeks with 2 lids full of Brandy and then when we get to the middle of November I’ll then feed every week until I put the marzipan on.
I can say without any shadow of a doubt that by the time Christmas comes my Snowman will be so drunk it won’t be able to stand up. I’ll show you when I’ve iced it and it’s all finished. Next the Mincemeat.