Christmas is fast approaching; I can almost feel it snapping at my heels! I really don't feel ready this year. I have much still to do and I haven't even started writing out cards yet, eek! I realise I'm perhaps leaving it a bit late to make a Christmas cake, but the beauty of this cake is that it doesn't need to be made in advance nor does it need brandy feeds!! It also promises to be quick to make, hence its title. I am giving baked goodies for gifts this year. This idea went down well with Neil's dad and he asked if I could make him a Christmas cake, not a mini version but a full sized one. Hopefully he will be willing to share!
I'd planned to make the cake at lunchtime while my little boy had his nap. Unfortunately Isaac didn't settle, so this ultimately led to his coming back downstairs for cuddles. This of course meant that baking took a back seat. Maybe Isaac was just in need of a boost of vitamin C as, after a Satsuma, he was a different child! Much later on when, I should have been making our evening meal, I made a start on the cake. Surely it would be super quick to make and would be in the oven in mere minutes?!
The first thing that struck me was that I had never seen a Christmas cake recipe with such a short list of ingredients; it was a revelation! It also appeared to be a very easy to follow recipe. Mary can always be relied on for her speedy and reliable all in one method – I love her for it!!!
By some miracle I had remembered to leave the butter out of the fridge, so it was lovely and soft by the time I added it to my mixing bowl. A couple of eggs were soon joining the butter and then I moved on to weighing the flour. I collected the jar of mincemeat from the shelf, whipped off the lid and tipped the contents onto the scales. The label on the jar told me that it contained 410g of mincemeat and, as the recipe required 400g, I cleverly worked out that there would be 10g left over for me to enjoy. Yes I can happily eat mincemeat on its own – I love the stuff! To my horror and dismay I quickly realised that I'd been diddled; there would be no cook's perk for me as the jar only contained 395g – humph!
After that bombshell I had to clear my dark thoughts and move on to adding the currants. To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of currants. I find them to be a bit hard and chewy unlike their cousins the raisin and sultana. Last of all I chopped up some almonds. This did slow down proceedings a little. I chopped each nut roughly into three pieces, believing a third of an almond to be the perfect bite! When it came to mixing everything together with my electric whisk, I was worried I would end up pelted in mincemeat and nuts. However, to my surprise, it all combined together easily and only one small piece of nut shot out! As I spooned the mixture into the tin, a dollop landed on the floor; I should have known I couldn't escape from making a mess! I placed the tin into the oven and then moved on to the important job of licking out the bowl. At least I didn't get to miss out completely on my mincemeat fix. It tasted delicious; I could only wish that I hadn't been quite so thorough when scraping out the bowl!
The cake cooked while I got on with cooking the evening meal. Even though there is no denying that it had taken a lot less time to make than most Christmas cakes, it had still managed to take longer than I'd anticipated. Now Neil and I were going to have a late meal. Thankfully Neil hadn't noticed the time as he was busy doing yet more DIY! An hour later, and stuffed to the gills with food, I waddled back to the oven to check on the cake. As Mary suggests, I put some foil over the top to stop it from becoming too brown on top. Another forty-five minutes and it was ready. It looked a lovely rich brown and smelt delicious. Once the cake was cool I wrapped it in some greaseproof paper and stored it away in the under stairs cupboard! I will cover it in marzipan and then ice it in time for Christmas. I will of course add another picture, once decorated, and let you know how it tastes once it has been sampled by Neil's dad on Christmas day!
|Not the most exciting picture!!|