I've not made a Christmas cake for years because there's only ever me that eats it, it's usually burnt and I can live without it!! Christmas has never been ruined due to an absence of cake!
However, this year, I'm going all crafty and homemade and in sheer desperation to fill the last afternoon of half term, we made a Christmas cake.
I checked my Christmas entertaining book for something chic and light. Nothing. (Proof a Christmas cake is not essential maybe!)
So I went to Nigelissima for an Italian alternative hoping it would be eaten out of curiosity. Nope, nothing there other than a creamy type cake.
James Martin did not let me down!! We've followed his recipe to the letter and halfway through, I realised I'VE NOT SOAKED THE FRUIT IN BRANDY!!!!!!!! The recipe didn't instruct me to and
I've followed it in automatic mode whilst giving impromptu maths lessons to the boys.
Its a family tradition to soak the fruit. (In alcohol, not tea!) A couple of years ago, I soaked them and ate them before even contemplating baking them. However, I shall compensate by feeding the cake copious amounts of Martell. If I'm not drinking the cake on Christmas eve, I'll be disappointed.
So back to the cake, I baked it for half an hour less than James instructed and it still felt a bit dry. (Oooh!! I'll pour brandy on it!) The smell though was AMAZING!!!
The next stage is to make my own marzipan! Easy for you James Martin - Stay tuned!!