Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas cakes

Merry Christmas!  How are your holidays going?  We had a nice, quiet Christmas with lots of food, eggnog and cake.  Yummy!

This was also my first year to try and perfect the fruitcake.  I have made fruitcake before, but usually it is the cheat's version where you heat the fruit with liquids to plump them up rather than soaking them in brandy for weeks.  Well this time, I decided to try and do a traditional fruitcake which required me to soak the mixed fruit for 3 weeks (I know some people soak theirs for months, but this was hard enough trying to remember to stir it everyday!).  The mixture smelled divine after 3 weeks of soaking in brandy.  I also managed to squeeze in doing a cheat's version to compare the two since I had leftover fruit mix.  The second fruitcake required me to heat the fruit with brandy and juice for 10 minutes and they plumped right up after that.   My verdict is both versions are equally good so you can always skip the 3 week or 3 month soak for the 10 minute one. :)

The round fruitcake is the cheat's version and it is very yummy and moist.  Best part is it contains no butter, only oil and is just as moist and tasty as the traditional one.  This recipe is from Julie le Clerc's Favourite Cakes.  She calls it her last minute Christmas cake.  Very appropriate!

The next fruitcake I made is one from Little and Friday treats by Kim Evans. 

This is from her first book and she has added chocolate to the recipe, but I could not taste it.  It makes for a lovely and rich cake as well.  I also made her marzipan, a first for me as I am not a fan of commercial marzipan.  I was very surprised at how easy it was to make the marzipan.  The only thing I may omit the next time I make the marzipan perhaps is the orange blossom water.  I am not a big fan of it.

I wasn't intending to decorate my cakes as I was focussed on getting them right but I used the leftover marzipan to make a simple decoration on it.  I think it turned out nice.  The marzipan was easy to colour too.

I hope your holidays went well.  Thanks for stopping by! :)

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