English Christmas fruit cake recipe

June 9, 2023
English Christmas Fruit Cake:
Felicity's perfect Christmas cakeFelicity's perfect Christmas cake. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

As the initial real cake I ever baked, Christmas cake occupies a unique devote me. Of course, the end result, cruelly named "the rock of age range" by my doting father, was still being going strong lengthy after Happy easter ! were old news, but practicing to achieve perfection, and today Let me think I had been a little of the dab hands using the old mixed peel.

In nowadays of triple chocolate yule logs and all sorts of-singing, all-dancing pine-perfumed mince pies, however, the homely fruit cake can are afflicted by the stigma of overfamiliarity, even an off-putting chastity.

Should you fight to muster enthusiasm with this most British of baked goods, consider Eliza Acton's tart observation that "more illness is triggered by habitual indulgence in wealthy and heavier type of cakes than may be easily credited by persons who've given no focus on the topic.Inch A peculiarly Victorian dourness aside, the woman includes a point: when one stops to think about the elements which go in to these confections – butter, sugar, eggs, expensive imported fruits, spices or herbs and, obviously, booze – linked with emotions . appear minus the type of factor one might anticipate finding inside a Girl Guide's have a picnic baskets, and much more a riot of demon-may-care festive decadence. Which instantly, obviously, means they are a lot more exciting.

Although fruit cakes are fair game as soon as they leave the oven (the raw batter is really a treat), as because of so many truly great food products, they really improve as we grow older, particularly if they are drip-given with alcohol because they mature. Therefore, the tradition of Stir-up Sunday, the final before Advent, and therefore, the correct time for you to combine the holy trinity of festive dried fruit treats: mincemeat, Christmas pudding and xmas cake. (The best, obviously, pooh-pooh such last-minute plans – I understand some smug sorts who make their puddings annually ahead of time.)

Lincolnshire plum loaf, a sort of Christmas cakeEven when you simply do among the three a few days ago, will still be an enjoyable way of spending a November mid-day, using the bonus of giving your home an legitimately festive scent without a lot like a sniff of the eggnog-perfumed candle or mulled wine "plug-in".

All rise

Lincolnshire plum loaf, a kind of Christmas cake. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Since dried fruit first showed up within the thirteenth century, the British have baked by using it, first in fruit breads, for example bara brith or Lincolnshire plum loaf, and also in cakes which, until relatively lately, would have been elevated with yeast. Eliza Smith's 1753 "Great cake" requires 3 pints from the stuff.

By Eliza Acton's day, however, yeast have been largely changed by eggs, as with Mr Herbert M Bower's recipe for Ripon Plum Cake or Christmas Cake, incorporated in Florence White's 1932 collection, Good Stuff in England, which consists of no less than 7, the whites which should be beaten "to some stiff snow", rather just like a Savoy sponge, prior to being put into the wedding cake mixture. His cake is really a curious one, more sponge than fruit – a summer time variation on the fruit cake, possibly, although not wealthy enough for this time around of the year.

Annie Bell recipe Christmas cake. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Annie Bell uses bicarbonate of soda because the raising agent within the All Gold Christmas cake recipe in her own book Gorgeous Christmas – put into a hot pan of melted butter and any fruit juice, it fizzes spectacularly. The wedding cake has this type of featherlight texture which i almost feel like I am eating a mouthful of rather scrumptious fruit, which is not quite the purpose – I believe a fruit cake needs a little more heft.

Annie Bell's recipe Christmas cake Nigella recipe Christmas cake. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Baking powder has changed yeast because the most usual leavening agent for cakes, appearing in Mary Berry's Victorian Christmas Cake from her Christmas Collection, and legendary pastry chef Claire Clark's recipe in Indulge in addition to Serta Lepard's Black Christmas Cake and Nigella's Easy Action Christmas Cake in Feast.

Even though the quality recipes themselves vary, this appears to own most consistent texture: fluffy, yet in some way also comfortingly solid, it offers more support for that dried fruit compared to bicarb. Lepard uses bread toasted flour, that we think makes his cake unnecessarily heavy however – it's already squidgy and sodden with fruit and treacle, why over-egg the pudding (so to speak)?

In search of moistness

Mary Berry recipe Christmas cake. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Both Nigella and Annie Bell's quality recipes are suitable for "boiled fruit cakes" – which does not, sadly, imply that the wedding cake has literally been boiled in search of that ultimate moistness, when i first assumed, however that a few of the elements are boiled throughout the preparation from the cake. This old trick implies that you don't need to laboriously cream together the butter and sugar, which saves time, or perhaps pre-soak the fruit, as Mary Berry and Claire Clark suggest, and, some claim, provides a lighter, you will find, a moister finish result. I am together around the moistness – the fruit both in is nearly disappointingly plump, and also the crumb sticky and moist however the cakes appear less wealthy in flavour in some way.

Rather, Mary Full of Cakes, when i believe she's now formally known in recognition of her stellar performance around the Great British Bake Off, indicates soaking the fruit in sherry for any full 72 hours before baking, while Claire enables overnight soaking, along with Good Food magazine for his or her Hot Toddy Fruit Cake. Mary's fruit competes using the boiled sort for plumpness however i think it is disappointingly squidgy: a briefer soaking still leaves it pleasantly boozy without ruining the feel.

The spirit of Christmas

Claire Clark recipe Christmas cake. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

What to soak it in? Mary decides for sherry, Annie Bell any fruit juice, Serta Lepard stout, Nigella rum, Herbert Bower whisky (actually, lemon whisky, a thing that seems to become now limited towards the Scandinavian market), Good Food magazine tea and whisky, and Claire Clark brandy, rum and orange juice.

Nigella recipe Christmas cake Mary Berry recipe Christmas cake Claire Clark recipe Christmas cake Dan Lepard recipe Christmas cake
Source: www.theguardian.com
Bake a Cake: Christmas fruit/choco cake recipe part 3
Bake a Cake: Christmas fruit/choco cake recipe part 3
Christmas Fruit Cake | Easy 3 step recipe
Christmas Fruit Cake | Easy 3 step recipe
Bake a Cake: Christmas fruit/choco cake recipe part 1
Bake a Cake: Christmas fruit/choco cake recipe part 1
Share this Post