So, I've done the first bit of Christmas baking - the cake! I always forget just how much volume there is to christmas cake batter. It only just fits into the bowl. It then took 4hrs 15minutes to cook and came out of the oven at 3pm yesterday. At midnight it was still warm! I finally put it (double wrapped in foil and having been fed generously) in the cake storer at about 8am this morning. Phew!
I used the Nigella Lawson recipe from her Christmas book. It gives a beautiful dark, rich and moist cake every time. It should be moist really as the fruit is soaked for 24hrs before making the cake in 600ml of alcohol for a 25.5cm diameter circular cake tin. This year I used a half and half mix of Madeira and Brandy. If I could have tracked down Pedro Ximenez sherry I'd have used that, but alas Sainsburys and Tescos didn't have any.
The kitchen smelt wonderful yesterday!
Next on the baking list is the Christmas pudding, another Nigella recipe. The fruit has been soaking since Saturday... I just need to be around for the 5 hours of steaming!