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My December Essentials. Part 2: Cake


Cake. The joy of life.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Over on the right there is a chocolate Christmas cake waiting to happen. Chocolate (Green and Black’s Maya Gold), butter, raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, it’s lusciousness.

I’ve made this cake for my father-‘in-law’ for the past 2 years as his birthday is in mid December and he adores chocolate cake. This year I added Callebaut cocoa and 70% to the mix. Can a person have too much good chocolate? *rhetorical question*

Christmas cake is part of December for me. I just adore the smell of the spices, the sweet must of the dried fruit, the muffled kick of the mixed peel and the almond scent of cherry stone gin. The stirring of the mixture, the preparing of the tin, the wafting of deliciousness from the oven as it cooks and cools.

It’s simple, a lot easier than the chemistry of most cakes. It’s Ikea for cake. More of an assembly job with predetermined path and the homeliness of small children there to be tripped over and couples having ‘time together’ arguing over cushion covers.

I’m a make the cake ahead kind of person so I do it in October or November.

If you’re not, Delia has a fabulous recipe for mincemeat cake which tastes wonderful and needs no time to keep. Carolyn Ekins over at 1940s Experiment has a wartime Christmas cake recipe which happens to be vegan, which I have successfully done in the slow cooker. When I make it I use blackstrap molasses instead of golden syrup, use double the quantity of (purple) carrots, (half quantity) dark brown muscovado instead of white sugar and soak the dried fruit in the (no milk) tea. Hmmm, no adaptions there then *ahem*

The chocolate Christmas cake recipe is Nigella’s and for a traditional, it’s Delia Smith all the way, or St Delia as I like to call her.

What do you do for cake at Christmas?


Click here to read Part 1: The Great Cheese Hunt.

PS. Cake is mentioned rather a lot in our Tax Return Toolkit. Very handy if you need to do a tax return at any point, even if you have an accountant person doing it for you. Cake is gooooooood, and so is our Toolkit, even if we do say so.

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