This is the start of a series of posts I am doing on making a Christmas Cake. I am not a professional baker, but I do make a Christmas Cake most years and the first few times I did it, I could really have done with some help. So, if this is your first year that you intend to make a cake and need a bit of hand holding - follow my series.
Stage One is all about finding a recipe, gathering your ingredients together and soaking the fruit.
Finding a recipe that will suit your individual likes is not all that easy. For years, I followed a Delia Smith recipe but some years ago changed to a Nigella Lawson one (published in How to be a Domestic Goddess) which I have adapted for my particular quirks! Once you have found a recipe, your next step is making sure you have the correct sized tin, and if not, could you borrow one from a friend or family member?
Today's stage assumes that you have your recipe (I will be providing my bastardised version of Nigella's) and that you have got your ingredients and some time in the next couple of days ready to bake the cake, so if you work all week, a Friday or Saturday night are going to be your best times to soak your fruit.
Ingredients for Stage One (Note: this is for a 18cm round cake tin or 15cm square tin):
50g Glace Cherries
50g Mixed Peel (Optional)
60ml Sherry, Brandy or Marsala
1. Rinse the glace cherries in a sieve to get rid of the syrup and roughly chop into quarters.
2. Weigh out the remaining fruit and mixed peel if using and place in a large bowl with the cherries.
3. Measure out your sherry and pour over the fruit. Stir well before covering with a tea towel. This needs to be left to soak overnight.
I will be posting Stage Two during the week, but if you want to get your ingredients ahead of time, here are the remaining ingredients.
90g Demerara sugar
1 tsp Grated Orange zest
2 Large Eggs
1 tbsp Marmalade
250g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Ground Mixed Spice
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
A little grated Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Almond Essence
Love Mrs Jones x