Time for the unveiling of the annual Christmas cake. The recipe is from the December 2003 edition of Delicious magazine, carefully preserved through several house-moves and more than a little dog-eared. The trick is to soak dried fruits and prunes in brandy overnight, then bung half of it in the food processor. This makes a rich puree that adds moistness and (importantly) booziness.
I had very grandiose plans for the decoration involving floristry wire etc etc, but ended up covering it with marzipan and a couple of coats of royal icing (shockingly badly done – I really can’t get the hang of it). I topped it with sugarpaste roses, made using a mould, and cut-out ivy leaves and letters. The sugarpaste had some gold edible dust mixed into it, but it didn’t really give a good lustre, so I brushed on more afterwards.
And to get even more in the spirit of things, I stuck a Christmas playlist on Spotify and made some mince pies. I had to make them in a muffin tin, because we don’t have a proper shallow tin. They don’t look elegant but by golly they taste awesome.
Pastry courtesy of Nigella – I tried her recipe with orange juice in it for the first time, seems pretty good. Mincemeat courtesy of Sainsbury’s. I may be a domestic goddess but I draw the line at making my own mincemeat.