Hands up who likes Christmas Cake? Let me count now, 1,2,3, Oh far too many to count. Christmas Cake is definitely a favorite of so many.
My Grandad and Grannie made the best ever cake, with the fruits soaking in brandy and rum for weeks and weeks before the cake was made. 12-14 eggs went into the recipe. They made a cake for all their 11 children and their families as well for as long as I can remember.
However, in today’s hectic world so many cannot find the time to bake a Traditional Christmas Cake, and that is OK, you can still have that traditional cake. You can BUY Christmas Cake a yummy traditional one, or Buy Gluten Free Christmas Cake and the decorate it with edible Christmas Cake Decorations. Honestly, no one will know the difference, you will still hear the cry “More Please!”
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Just for fun, I thought I would research and see what origins and traditions are behind so many of the customs surrounding Christmas. So This is the first of a few posts before Christmas Day. Hope you find them interesting.
Christmas cake is an old English tradition which first appeared as plum porridge. It is claimed that the eating of the porridge on Christmas Eve, became popular because the benefit was said to “line the stomachs” of the diners following a day of fasting. As time went by, dried fruit, spices and honey were added to the porridge mixture, which eventually lead to the Christmas pudding we know today.
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Nut and Dried Fruit Gift Tray, Healthy Snack Gift Box, Great Gift for the Health ConsciousBroadway Basketeers Heart Healthy Floral Dried Fruit (Small) Gift Tray, 16 Ounce Christmas Holiday Gourmet Dried Fruit Tin – Makes Ideal Gift
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On with the story – Later it is said at some time in the 16th century, the oatmeal was removed from the original recipe, and butter, wheat flour and eggs were substituted. These new ingredients helped hold the mixture together and resulted in a boiled plum cake, which also had the effect of improving the texture and the flavor. These changes really had an influence on the popularity of the “Cake”. People couldn’t get enough!
More wealthy families, who had access to ovens, began making fruit cakes with marzipan, (an almond sugar paste) and/or at Christmas, they made a similar cake using seasonal dried fruit and spices and often would make Marzipan Fruits with any left over dried fruits, nothing went to waste. The spices represented the “exotic” eastern spices brought by the Wise Men. This cake became known as “Christmas cake” which closely resembles that which we all enjoy.
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Christmas cakes are made in many different ways, but generally they are variations on classic fruitcake. They can be light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened, unleavened, plus they are made in many different shapes, with frosting, glazing, and/or a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or just plain.
The traditional Scottish Christmas cake, also known as the “Whisky Dundee”, is still very popular. It is a light crumbly cake with currants, raisins, cherries and Scotch whisky “generously” applied. (Hic)
Other types of Christmas cake include an apple crème cake and a mincemeat cake. The apple crème cake is made with apples, other fruit, raisins, eggs, cream cheese and whipping cream. The mincemeat cake is made with traditional mincemeat or vegetarian mincemeat, flour, eggs, etc. It can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.
All Christmas cakes are made in ahead of time, with 6-8 weeks being a useful guide, so making or BUYING your cake in October/ November is recommended. This process allows for the ingredients to “amalgamate”, generating that meld or “synergy”, getting the very best out of all those tried and tested ingredients.
Store your cake upside down in an airtight container, adding a small amount of brandy, sherry or whisky by pouring into any holes there may be in the cake; if there are no holes you can see, get a fine skewer and prick the cake all over, then pour your chosen alcohol. Do this every week stopping just before Christmas or just before you decorate your cake. This process is called “feeding” the cake. I always use Brandy, as I find this gives any purchased cake that “Homemade” taste (I am making myself hungry here!)
Christmas Cake Decoration
Now here is the EASY and FUN part with Edible Christmas Cake Decorations Or Edible Images Cake Decorations.
If you wish for an extremely traditional decorated cake, cover with a thin layer of apricot jam, layered with Marzipan, and Royal icing and decorate. This is usually eaten on Christmas Night.
Christmas Cake Decorating Ideas
I am going to list the essential ingredients you need to be successful. Apricot Jam you can get anywhere, if you can’t use Orange Marmalade. Cover the cake with a thin layer of this. That is the top of the cake and the sides. To make this easy, I warm the jam or marmalade in the microwave and then glaze the cake with a pastry brush.
Now you roll out the Marzipan and cover the cake with this, smoothing it over the top and sides.
That’s it you got it, you’re looking good!
Next you roll out your Royal Icing and place that on the cake, covering the top and sides.
Follow the instructions that come with it… Well Done!
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Now decorate with your Edible Christmas Cake Decorations….This is so much fun!
Buy Edible Images Cake Decorations
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In other countries such as The Philippines, Christmas cake is a yellow pound cake with nuts or the traditional British fruitcake. Both cakes are soaked in brandy or rum, a palm sugar syrup and water. Rosewater or orange flower water is usually added. The cakes have a long shelf life, often lasting many months. It is not unusual, for them to be enjoyed the following Easter or Christmas.
And Just for More Fun, a little video, to get you into the right spirit for the holiday festive season.
It is a TRADITION in our house for our family to bring the Grandkids and watch one or two of the Mickey Mouse Disney DVD’s I have listed the ones we have in our collection.
Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of MouseMickey’s Once Upon A Christmas (Disney Gold Classic Collection)Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas – All Time Kiddies FavoriteMickey’s Christmas Carol – such a classic, Mickey’s Once Upon A ChristmasSing Along Songs – Merry Christmas Songs
ALSO This VERY SPECIAL MOVIE is watched by us all ON CHRISTMAS EVE
I wish you and yours a Peaceful, Blessed Christmas, where the holiday season is pure Joy, Light and Love.
Until Next Time