Hey fake it until you bake it! For me that'll probably be Christmas Ever ....
As you can see form the picture above, I'm not the best at decorating a Christmas Cake. I always have to rely on that snow-scape icing because I wouldn't begin to have the patience to make the icing look smooth. Nevertheless, without fail. my Christmas cake gets wolfed and I think it's really down to the fail-safe boiled fruit cake. It's a recipe handed down from my mother that she inherited from someone else. It's what I make each year because it is so easy and delicious.
I have to be honest here as well. I haven't even made it this year yet because I've been so darn busy, so I had to trawl for a photo from last year's effort. I plonked a Christmas bauble on top because that was what came to hand and I thought the koala was cute! I'm never going to win any awards for the prettiest cake of the year, but heck, who's worrying about that. Our Christmas is always very casual.
This year, at the rate I'm going, I will probably be making my cake on Christmas Eve (which my mother would not approve of because she usually spends weeks dousing hers with brandy). I'll no doubt give mine a good pricking and douse it with brandy or whisky so it's extra moist, and I have no doubts that it will be gobbled up as it always is.
In my book, there's absolutely nothing wrong with buying a cake if you're that way inclined because Christmas is such a ridiculously busy time and you may have a hundred other things that are much more important. But, I thought I'd share this family recipe with you, just in case you fancied making and baking your own cake without all the stress ... on Christmas Eve!
24-32 oz (3 - 4 cups) mixed dried fruit
1/2 lb butter (one pack = approx 225 grams)
16 oz sugar (2 cups) - brown or white
16 fluid oz water (I sometimes substitute half of this with a 432g tin of crushed pineapple)
1 - 2 tsp soda bicarbonate
Bring to boil and boil these ingredients in a large pan for 10 -ish minutes.
Allow too cool. Then add:
2 beaten eggs
8 oz (1 cup) self raising flour
8 oz (1 cup) plain flour
nuts, chopped ginger, generous slug of brandy and whatever else takes your fancy ...
Bake in oven warmed to 160 (325 F) for 2 hours. You may need to cover the top with baking paper/foil to stop it from burning.
And that's it! Easy peasy, I promise.