Thursday, 21 October 2010

Christmas cake (gluten free and/or vegan)


Readers of a sensitive disposition should look away now because I’m going to use the C word.

Seriously, go now if you don’t want to read that most offensive of words.
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Christmas.

There, I’ve said it.

You know I nearly did write the C word just to see the look on your face, but I managed to refrain. There’s something about truly awful words that makes me giggle, because some words are so offensive they actually become funny, don’t you find?

Anyway, back to Christmas. *wince*

It’s ok because it is ages away and we don’t need to do any hyperventilating into a bag or rabid list-making just yet.

But if you’re serious about this whole Christmas thing, may I suggest making your cake now? I know it seems preposterously early, but there’s a very good reason for getting it done before Halloween.

It’s because my friend Ali told me to.

You see she’s a very clever lady who runs her own cake business and does impressive catering type things and has a very savvy husband who does her marketing and all sorts of other finger-on-the-pulse stuff. And when I saw Ali in September – September I say! – she was about to make her Christmas cakes for her customers.

I think the phrase was, ‘So I can really feed them well and get them perfect in time for Christmas.’

I liked that word, ‘perfect’, it really sucked me in. 'Maybe' I thought, 'if I bake my cake now like Ali, I will have a perfect Christmas.'

So mine is done and stares accusingly at me every day, ‘What’s going on? You’re supposed to be feeding me!’ It actually causes me to hyperventilate a little (not into a bag, that will come later) and I have to quickly add ‘Feed Christmas Cake’ to my list of things to do.

But apart from that I think it was a good thing to have done.

It meant that for one day only in late September, my kitchen smelt of Brandy and I permitted myself to play Christmas tunes as I baked. (If you need some good Christmas toons, please rush out and buy this CD, your festive period will be transformed forever.) There was none of the Christmas stress generally associated with Christmas music or cake baking (‘I should have made this weeks ago!’) and it was all very calming.

And if, after baking your cake this early, your Christmas still ends up being a time of stress, inebriation, hangovers, misery and please-let-it-all-be-over, you can do what I plan to do.

Which is blame my friend Ali.

Christmas Cake

You can find my Christmas cake recipe by clicking HERE. It really is a very tweakable recipe, so please substitute, add and subtract whichever ingredients take your fancy. But I can’t be held responsible for abject cake failures (but you could blame Ali...). This year my fancy was very much taken by these candied fruits.

Aren’t they lovely?! And badda-bing they weren’t candied using a wheat-derived sugar. They did cost me an arm and a leg, but that is what Christmas is all about n’est-ce pas? Anyway, off you go and do your cake and I’ll leave this photo montage for your delectation.

First you do this:
Then a bit of this and this:

Then after a bit you end up with this:
  Then you kind of do this:
 And well, sort of this: (I made - and ate this - for you in August, I call that devotion...)  And then that's it, finished.


Happy Christmas Cake-making mes anges.  Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved

15 comments:

WizzyTheStick said...

Ali is brilliant. I don't know her but tell her she is an angel from heaven. This from a lady who does her Chrstmas shopping August.So I'm off now to start soaking my fruits cause in the Caribbean we soak our fruits in rum for about a month. Then after the cake is made even more rum is poured over it to preserve it. Guaranteed to make you merry and bright:-)

Potty Mummy said...

Oh god. So now I want Christmas cake. Not at Christmas, mind you; NOW!!! Your friend Ali has a lot to answer for, Pig...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Wizzy the STick, you speak not a word of a lie, my friend Ali is brilliant (not sure about the angel from heaven bit). I LOVE the sound of Christmas in the Caribbean, you soak yourselves for a month in rum? Have I read that right?!! ;-) Thanks for the visit.

PottyM, I think we should start a new culinary movement that embraces the making - and sampling of - yuletide delicacies 365 days of the year. That way we'd avoid all this frenetic gorging at year end. Are you with me? And yes, Ali has a LOT to answer for, nearly breaking my daughter's back in the Summer springs to mind, but that's a whole other blog post.... (Ali, my lawyers will be in touch).

Pig x

Flo'bear said...

Okay, hang on a second. If I make my Christmas Cake now, you're telling me it will keep happily until December?

Just ordered A Very Special Christmas from Amazon. Excited.

Morgan@LittleHouseofVeggies said...

Adorable little cakes!!!

WizzyTheStick said...

Pig-you are too funny. No we soak the fruits for the cake and then the cake itself in rum. I guess all of that together with the rum we drink as well I suppose it would be fair in a sense to say that we soak ourselves in rum. LOL

and not meaning to hijack your blog but in response to Flo'bear soak a fruitcake in enough alcohol and it will keep for years even

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Flo bear, you got me a bit worried there so I'm glad that wizzythestick cleared it up! yes it will keep and yay for the cd:

M@lhv thank-you!

Wthestick, ha ha for rum. and thanks for being decisive about the alcohol preserving thing, i was beginning to doubt myself...

gowshika, at least pretend you`'re not a spammer, what a waste of a life.

Iota said...

I have made a subtle reference to you in my latest post. I was going to make it a full-blown link, but then we did have a bit of a love-fest over the Iota cake, and I didn't want to over-egg the pudding, or over-rum the Christmas cake, or over-baste the turkey. But know that I am talking about YOU in the final para!

Scarlett said...

Brilliant post-thank you! and I made my cake last week too :)

meloni courtway said...

yet again - you thrill me! love this recipe...
From across the pond...
And not at all British...
I'm making it.

Flo'bear said...

Ok. All ingredients bought. Ready to make cake. But - 16cm cake tin? Really? That seems so teeny weeny....

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Flobear, gah! Not sure how that happened, I think the first time I made it I did use a 16cm tin...but the latest attempt was 23cm. Sorry for confusion.

Pig x

Flo'bear said...

Okay. So I am safe to make your Christmas Cake recipe and scrape it all into a 23cm tin? I sound a bit impaired and/or anal here, but this is my first ever Christmas Cake *trumpet!* *fanfare!* so I want to make neurotically sure I'm getting it right....

Pig in the Kitchen said...

flo'bear, I'm feeling all stressed and worried now, the burden of your expectations weighing heavily on my pigly frame... Do line your tin with baking parchment first, yes it will be fine in a 23cm cake tin, it would even work in a 20-22 cm cake tin, but you would have to allow for it to rise higher and possibly allow extra cooking time in the oven, in which case you'll definitely have to cover it with tin foil to prevent the top burning but allowing the middle to cook. *Pig pants and stretches out aching typing fingers* I hope that is clear, but PLEASE feel free to ask more questions...
Cheers!
Pig x

Flo'bear said...

I expect nothing short of perfection. I will report. Spicing brandy tonight, it's a long road ahead....

(thanks for advice) xx