Now, I know I said if I had any items left over on the Lockdown Leaflet I would do them this weekend, but I hang my head in shame and admit that didn’t happen. Partly I just ran out of time. Mostly what I did this Sunday was No. 4 (Make a cake) – and not just any old cake, but Christmas cake!

I admit to being rather excited about this cake. I’ve never made a Christmas cake, or to be fair a proper fruit cake either – I mean, I make plenty of cakes with fruit (Banana cake, apple cake, lemon drizzle cake, etc etc) but not ‘fruit cake’. My Mum always used to make Christmas cakes – though I don’t remember the actual baking of them I do remember her icing them with (I think) royal icing (which egg whites) and creating little snow peaks across the top of the cake.

Myself and Ken haven’t had a Christmas cake at home for quite a while now, I prefer Yule logs. This year however, I decided I wanted to try and make one, with plenty of time to feed it with brandy too. We’ve no idea what we are doing over the Christmas period, or where we’ll be; whether we’ll be able to see family or friends or not. It could just be us eating the cake.

So, I had been contemplating making one, and then a few weeks back a dancing friend, Lizzy, posted a picture of the one she had just baked. Inspired by her fabulous looking cake I asked for her recipe which she kindly gave me. It’s a slightly tweaked Delia Smith recipe (as an aside I don’t seem to have any Delia Smith cookbooks in my cookery book collection – I just find that vaguely odd).

The previous day I measured out all the fruit, and added the brandy. Hmmm just that lot smelt like Christmas!

So I spent a large chunk of the afternoon cake making. I dug out a large ceramic mixing bowl and did most of the mixing, creaming, beating and folding with a wooden spoon. I wanted it to be ‘made by hand’ – and only caved with a small use of an electric whisk when the the eggs began to curdle. (Adding 4 beaten eggs, a tablespoon at a time, took a while!) I admit my shoulder and arm felt the strain later on – but it was worth it 😉

The cake took four hours to bake – with no peeking! So hard not to look after a few hours. When it came out the oven it smelt heavenly.

This morning we wrapped it up in greaseproof paper and stored it away. I believe it needs to come out at regular intervals for feeding with brandy 😉