Cakes have never been my strong point and it is only now that I've reached the age of 28 that I feel confident enough to attempt my own Christmas cake.
I scoured the Internet and my ever growing number of Christmas cook books for a recipe I felt comfortable with and eventually decided upon Mary Berry's recipe from her baking bible. I chose this recipe as it included both cherries and almonds (yum) and had precise measurements for both round and square tins of various sizes so I wouldn't need to buy a new tin especially.
The preparation started the night before with the traditional method of soaking your dried fruit in brandy overnight.
The actual mixing of ingredients the next morning was actually really simple, although I have to say, mixing flour, sugar, 5 eggs and spices with over a pack of butter took some strength (and help from hubby). Roll on the day I finally get my hands on a food mixer!
I poured and packed my cake mixture into my prepared tin and as expected, it fit perfectly!
Then I had to bake it at the low heat of 120C for 4 3/4 hours! The smell and warmth of Christmas has flooded our downstairs and the delicious smell was first thing the children mentioned when they came home from school.
When the time came, I carefully removed my cake from the oven. I had my fingers and toes crossed that it wouldn't be burnt (it wasn't) and that it passed the skewer test (it did). It looks and smells amazing and has definitely been worth the effort so far.
I am dying to taste it, but that will have to wait. I will be feeding it with a tablespoon of brandy once a week and then towards the middle of December will be decorating it with marzipan, icing and hopefully a little sugar craft. Watch out for Christmas cake part 2!