Decorating Delia Smith’s Christmas Cake

No I didn’t actually decorate Delia Smith’s Christmas cake but I did use her recipe and then decorated it.

So over the last two months I have made a Christmas cake. I fed it with brandy, and today was the day I got to decorate it. Honestly I’ve been looking forward to this day for ages. Now I will admit I am not anyway near a star baker but I can’t help but love getting my hands dirty in terms of baking and decorating.

Check out my (not very good) photographs of my cake:

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I got the recipe for the Christmas Cake from Delia Smith’s Christmas. I’ve listed the ingredients and a summary of how to make it. Delia you are a saint!

What you’ll need (taken from Delia’s Christmas cookbook, page 14):

– 1lb (450g) currants

– 6oz (175g) sultanas

– 6oz (175g) raisins

– 2oz (50g) glace cherries, rinsed, drained and finely chopped

– 2oz (50g) mixed candied peel, finely chopped

– 3 tablespoons brandy

– 8oz (225g) plain flour

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/4 freshly ground nutmeg

– 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice

– 8 oz (225g) unsalted butter

– 8 oz (225g) soft brown sugar

– 4 eggs

– 2 oz (50g) almonds, chopped

– 1 dessertspoon of black treacle

– The grated zest of 1 lemon

– The grated zest of 1 orange

– 8 inch round cake tin

– greaseproof paper to tie round and cover the tin when cooking

What you have to do:

1. Begin the cake the night before you want to bake it.

2. Weigh out all dried fruit and peel and mix in a bowl with the brandy. Cover the bowl and leave for 12 hours.

3. Pre-heat over to 140 C.

4. Measure out rest of the ingredients.

5. Sift the flour, salt and spices into a mixing bowl, preferably a large one.

6. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add in whisked eggs, if the mixture starts to curdle don’t worry about it.

7. Fold in the flour and spices from the other bowl.

8. Fold in the fruit, chopped buts and treacle and then add the grated fruit zest.

9. Transfer mixture into prepared tin, cover with greaseproof/baking paper with a small hole in the centre to prevent burning. Bake the cake on the lowest shelf, for 4.5 hours. Sometimes it can take longer to cook.

10. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, when it is cold ‘feed’ the cake by tapping little holes into the top and spooning brandy over the top.

For the decoration:

– Lots and lots of marzipan

– Royal icing (you can make this with icing sugar, egg whites and glycerin, or shop buy it)

– Food colouring – the green one from Tesco is really good.

– Liquorice all sorts

– Your favourite flavour of jam

– A spoon

– Baking/Greaseproof paper

How I did it:

Really this part is easy. Cover the entire cake in jam and then smother it in rolled out marzipan. Leave it to set for about a day. Then with the royal icing cover the entire cake again and with a spoon tap it on the top gentle to make a kind of ice scene.

Roll two lots of three balls in sizes going from small to big for your snowmen. Put them together and with liquorice all sorts decorate how you want.

For the cat just get one small-biggish ball and one small ball put them together, make a tail and two little ears then add some whiskers, once again with marzipan.

The Christmas trees are a bit tricky, first draw a Christmas tree on your baking sheet and cut it out so it creates like a template. You can then lay it on your rolled out marzipan and cut around it with a knife. Make sure you make enough to go round your cake. When you have enough colour them with the green food colouring, for me I find it’s best to do this on a tray so the green doesn’t go all over the cake. When they are dry put some jam on the cake and then stick them round the rest of the cake.

And there you have it, one very easy Christmas cake to bake.

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