Some of you will gasp in horror at my use of the C-word, but for those of us who love Christmas, the end of the summer marks the start of Christmas preparation. I'm not yet at the stage where I feel I can openly admit reading Christmas craft books and planning the gifts I will get people but I have started to think about food. Even the most bah-humbugish people who won't put up a Christmas tree until late December, can't deny that a decent Christmas cake needs to be started early.
Growing up with parents a parent who was both French and hated fruit cake I have to admit that I've never had Christmas cake. My wedding cake last year was a fruit cake, so I'm guessing that it was just a non-boozy Christmas cake.
As per usual I'm working over Christmas this year, so I was hoping to make a nice cake to look forward to when I get home (and perhaps even share!).
When I confessed my virgin-cake status on Twitter the very lovely @reddy1408 suggested a cook-a-long, using Delia's recipe with a few tweaks. Quite a few of us are now taking part; @the_learnaholic, @tablet_girl and @thesteth for sure, but maybe some others. It should be interesting to see how they all turn out, although unfortunately I won't get to taste them all.
I got started with soaking my fruit today.
Delia's recipe suggests weighing up lots of different types of dried fruit and soaking overnight with 3 tbs of brandy.
Debs' tweaked recipe suggests 900g of mixed dried fruit with a many glugs of fav alcohol. She uses sherry and if that's good enough for her it's good enough for me.
I ended up using 800g of mixed dried fruit and just over 100g of glace cherries at the request of hubby, as for him a fruit cake is not a fruit cake without them. Having grown up in a family that has a generous approach to adding booze to anything I've put half a bottle of sherry in the fruit. I'm not going to be afraid to add more (just don't tell Delia!).