Wednesday, 9 November 2011

christmas cake

I made a Christmas cake today. The house smells lovely.

I don’t have a special recipe that I use every year. I’m quite happy to try new ones from time to time. I also think that a bought cake is perfectly acceptable when life is busy.

For quite a few years I used a Delia Smith recipe, but always had to change the constitution of the dried fruit mixture. She specifies 450g currants, 175g sultanas and 175g raisins. Now I really like dried fruit, but currants always seem such unappealing, mean, pinched little things by comparison with juicy raisins and sultanas. I quite often go with a Good Housekeeping recipe. Needing to sell magazines, they generally have a slightly different recipe each year with names like “the ultimate Christmas cake”, or “our best ever Christmas cake”.

I’ve taken the GH route this year. This one is called their "easiest ever"! The fruit mixture includes prunes and stem ginger – no currants and no mixed peel!
Unusually the recipe involves boiling the fruit and melting the butter and sugar so that the mixture goes into the oven already warm and takes less cooking time.

I didn’t have any Amaretto liqueur, so used port and added half a teaspoon of almond extract when the mixture came off the heat.
It looks good so far!


  1. Ooh that actually sounds nice - and you know what I'm like with fruit cake! Well done for getting ahead. I'm excited about christmas already!

  2. I usually do Delia's and sometimes use the additions my Mother in law added to make our wedding cake (melted dark chocolate and apricot brandy). Last year I did a Nigella recipe and put Pedro Ximinez sherry in it. Disaster!!! Much too sweet! Prune and ginger recipe sounds lovely and moist and fruity. Would I find the recipe by Googling it?

  3. Diana, if you click the link where it says GH route (underlined) it should take you straight to the recipe. If that isn't working the website is and search the food section for xmas cakes - think it's called a boiled christmas cake. xx

  4. Just made the cake! I went to buy Ameretto, but when I saw how expensive it is, changed plans and used last year's brandy instead. It does smell amazing when it is cooking doesn't it? And the butterey alcholic fruit and sugar is irresistable straight from the pan. I guess I now have a rather smaller Christmas cake than you!!!

  5. We'll have to compare tasting notes!

  6. I alternate between a vegetarian recipe and my dad's which is in a GH book from the 1960's. Actually, there's not much difference between them, apart from the addition of ground almonds (which I do like to add). Your cake looks magnificent!