Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My very first traditional christmas cake - soaking the fruit

A month (almost to the day) after saying I was going to do it, I finally got a start on making a christmas cake today. I did have some currants and sultanas on hand, the currants already far past their best before date but when it comes to dried fruit I tend to take the view that if it smells okay and tastes okay, it's probably okay. Especially if it's going to be soaked in alcohol anyway. I also did have some almonds well past their date but I decided to give them a miss. Although I tend not to be able to really taste the difference, I know that the oils in nuts can become rancid and that some people really are able to taste that.

So I put the following into my giant Tupperware mixing bowl:
625g currants
225g raisins
225g sultanas
200g glace cherries (only supposed to be 175g but each pack was 100g and the difference was about three cherries so what the hell)
100g mixed peel (used half and half orange and lime)

Then I had a search for some brandy, I was pretty sure I had part of a bottle somewhere from a failed attempt at something else and was surprised to actually find two partly used bottles and two further small bottles. The opened smaller bottle seems to be cognac I bought in France (at least all the writing is French) but I have no idea who might have drunk some of it. Definitely wasn't me. At any rate, the last of the two opened bottles and one of the small bottles was exactly 350ml.

Although the recipe I am using doesn't call for it, soaking the fruit in advance seems to be a very popular part of the process and so I'm doing that for a couple of days before moving on to the actual baking. That leaves me with one small bottle (100ml) to use for spooning over the cake over the next few weeks.

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