Finally got round to cooking my Christmas cakes today. They are in the oven as I type. I’ve been very tardy this year- I am normally done by early October but life is just busy!
I love making the Christmas cakes because, for me, it marks the start of autumn and the countdown to Christmas.
The smell of them cooking is so much more evocative than my normal baking. Now I can smell the cake it is legitimately time to start making my lists: presents, foods, nights out, nights in. I start scouring Pinterest for cake decoration ideas I will never try to emulate* and quirky gift ideas. I think I maybe love the run up to Christmas as much, maybe more, than the big day itself.
In terms of the cakes, my hubby loves Christmas cake but it has to have no icing or marzipan for him, so there will be a couple of loaf-shaped ones for easy cutting for us. I am making one for my best friend, and a few small loaf ones which I will give to various family members as Christmas treats. So that’s seven cakes of various sizes today!
I use Nigella’s traditional Christmas cake recipe which has never let me down yet as it gives quantities to scale up / down. My booze of choice for the past couple of years has been orange liqueor. Nothing fancy, a £5 Aldi one. I soak the fruit in it before hand and then feed the cakes in it whenever I remember up until Christmas. It’s not a super strong taste, but for me it is just perfect with the spices.
So I’ve got The Goonies on the TV, a house which smells delicious, Christmas cakes in the oven, an extra hour to my day (the clocks went back in Britain last night) and a warm glow in my heart- this is why I love autumn!
*I am the least artistic person in the world so cake decoration is pretty much beyond me.