Yesterday was Christmas Cake(s) Baking Day. I have a wonderful recipe for a Dark Chocolate Christmas Cake. Although it doesn't sound very traditional putting chocolate in a fruit cake trust me it is divine. It is from the Australian Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Want to make sure I give credit where credit is due
A fruit cake for Christmas, like a big roast dinner are part of the traditions that those of us with ancestors from the UK have continued with, despite these foods are far better suited for the middle of winter than a southern hemisphere summer. But I do like that we continue with these traditions in some form or another. I also really like seeing everyone sitting around with a paper hat on their heads. Especially if family members like mine have the Thomson head gene. (some of my cousins will know what I am talking about) So that the hat only lasts 20 seconds before splitting.
My Granny (Dad's Mother) would make marvelous fruit cakes, and I well remember her creations with marzipan icing, royal icing shaped to look like snow, and a plastic Santa on his sled on top. But when you are 8 years old, really the only part of a fruit cake that is of interest is the icing (and maybe the plastic Santa)
Anyway despite not being a domestic goddess by any stretch of the imagination I devoted most of the day, some eggs, fruit, copious amounts of port and dark chocolate along with other goodies to Christmas Cake baking.
I try and make a Christmas Cake most years for the following reasons
- It gives me a moment to think about my Granny, and wonder how on earth she would have managed creaming all that butter and sugar without an electric beater (blucky)
- I like the thought that maybe one day Lauren will look back fondly on her mother cooking up a storm and making a mess in the kitchen. Although the second item happens on quite a regular basis
- These Christmas Cakes make gifts - so remember that if you do receive one. It is a great gift ok!!!
- Last year I felt too blah with my thyroid to bother and it feels nice to know I am feeling well enough this year for baking
- It has been praised by my Mum and Christine - and they know their cakes
- And the main reason is that Brett is a Christmas Cake fiend. He loves the whole process of feeding the cake with port. Which he does very industriously and thoroughly. And then just as industriously and thoroughly he proceeds to feed himself on the cake from mid December until it is all gone (as you can imagine he was very disappointed that last year he did not get to partake in his Christmas Cake ritual)
So here is the recipe and some photos I took of the cake making process. There aren't any photos of the finished product. I will put those up when the cakes are well fed and succulent. When I make this cake I double the amounts because I think I may as well make it worth my while (and did I mention I live with a Christmas Cake fiend?)
Soaking the fruit in port
Some of the goodies that go into the mixture
The final mixture before going into the tins
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