A Cake for Christmas & Champagne floating

“Christmas is that period of the year we are all entitled to indulge ourselves into luxury and exaggeration in every form, from the way we dress and look to way the food and decorations look. Is that period of time where glitter and sparkle is allowed on our food, on our face on our table. We are allowed to over exaggerate in every possible form and we are allowed to set our passions free. This is what is this post all about; exaggeration sparkle and shine.”

For all of us, Christmas traditions and Christmas food goes a long way back and we all carry memories from our childhood. As a young kid I never – ever liked Christmas cake’s taste and I never ever enjoyed the moment we were going to share one, after Christmas lunch, so when my mom was going to cut a piece for each of us and I had to eat it and tell her my opinion was definitely the worst moment of the whole Christmas day table. First its appearance seemed so ‘yakie’ to me, a ‘black’ cake for Goodness sake, filled with all those little brown ‘things’- that was raisins – and dump little – incredibly sweet – fruits spread around with a heavy taste that burned my chest and I later discovered it was called brandy! This is the reason that growing up as an adult and as a foodie I found ways to make my Christmas Cake as tasty and as appealing to others and my self, as possible.

A Christmas cake, unlike other cakes, is not a cake you prepare on a last minute occasion to eat it fresh, but a time consuming recipe that takes days to be completed due to the brandy feeding, the dryness afterwards and the sugar paste decorations you want to create on top, but is an amazing way to express yourself and the Christmas spirit. In this post I will share with you my christmas recipe special, a recipe that i have developed on my own and I hope you like it. The decorations are done by my self with ready sugar paste and I used ivory colour to be different than other years. Mouldings, shapes and cutting accessories were used to cut and create the looks, while  shimmering cold dust thrown into the icing and eatable gold leafs, complimented the whole appearance.

  • 525g of Black currants
  • 225g of golden Sultanas
  • 225g of raisins
  • 110g glazed mixed fruits
  • 165g glaced cherries, halved
  • 1tsp of mixed spices
  • 1/2tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups of dried spoon sweets
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, crumbled 
  • 1 tea spoon of baking powder
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla extract 
  • 5 free-range eggs, room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • 300g of soft brown sugar 
  • 300g of butter, room temperature
  • 300g of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 espresso cup x 10days of finest quality brandy 

FOR THE DECORATION:

  • 2kg of ready made marzipan 
  • 3kg of ready made sugar paste
  • Heat the oven to 180C/GasMark4
  • . Grease 3 x 18 or 20cm/8inch round shallow tins 
  • Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice, rest of the spices and cinnamon into a bowl.
  • In the mixer add, the butter and the sugar then mix in the sugar and vanilla essence and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Mix the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
  • Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, place cherries, sultanas, raisins, almonds and walnuts.
  • Place the mixture into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 3 hours.  
  • Check the mixture with a skewer, If not ready bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the skewer comes out clean.
  • You may need to cover the top with a piece of foil if it begins to look too dark.
  • When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  • Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pour over the first 1/4 of the brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
  • Repeat the procedure for 10 days BUT BE CAREFUL you don’t over do it!!!!
  • When done allow to rest for a few days before you decorate it. 
  • To decorate the cake, place the cake on a cake special tray with parchment paper underneath, first add a good layer of marzipan and cover the whole cake. Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and then leave in a cool place to dry for at least one day.
  • Then add the icing with the same way. Use a spatula to make it look soft. Use accessories and cut various shapes from the icing to add as decoration. Allow to dry before serving.