Baking My First Christmas Cake Part 2

Welcome back to my Christmas Cake saga 2015

Just in case you missed Part 1 here is a roundup everything that has gone wrong:

  1. Not enough fruit for the recipe, I forgot to buy currants
  2. Not enough butter (sort of)
  3. Made the wrong ratio of the recipe, which is why there was not enough butter
  4. Forgot to add the Almonds to the mix

And here are some mistakes I forgot to mention or discovered after I posted the Christmas Cake Part 1:

  1. My greaseproof paper was too high for my oven and needed snipping
  2. The oven was on 180 not 140
  3. My Bain Marie dried out

So I compensated by lowering the temperature to 110 and filling up the Bain Marie. I hoped the water in the oven made the cooking process gentle enough not to incinerate the cake.

It was false hope.



Christmas Cake Stage 5 - Crying

Ok, now that's over with...I do have my backup batter, thanks to mishaps 1 and 2 from yesterday's 'muck up' list.  So I baked that this morning.

With the almonds in, at the correct temperature, with a fully watered Bain Marie.



Isn't it a thing of beauty! Even with my terrible photography!



Christmas Cake Stage 6 - Maturing

I've got another great tip from my baker pals on Facebook


Thank you, Teresa!  A friend of mine makes her Christmas Cake in September. Then she feeds it Rum for 3 months and is, presumably, admitted to hospital for fruit-induced alcohol poisoning on Christmas Day. I don't have 3 months, I'll be lucky if I have 3 days, so this nifty tip on speeding up the cakes maturation is a winner for me. I just hope it works out ok!

Christmas Cake Stage 6 - Decorating

This is what I've been waiting for!!

In case you didn't know, the traditional way to cover a fruit cake is with Marzipan and then fondant. In order to get the marzipan to stick (as there is no buttercream or ganache) you paint the cake with a jam or preserve. Usually apricot. And as there are apricots in the cake (at least I didn't forget those) this seems like a good way to go. By that logic so would cherry jam, but I prefer apricot.

The last time I used marzipan I was in primary school and I don't remember enjoying it. I bought my marzipan, sacrilege I know, but I didn't have the time or mental fortitude to make my own. I initially rolled it very thin, worried I wouldn't have enough. It turns out I had plenty but one layer didn't really disguise the lumps and bumps. So I did 2 thin layers of marzipan, stuck together with more apricot jam.

Then came the one part of this process I was actually familiar with, fondant.


I'm not entirely sure why I took all of my photo's tilting to the right. Must have been all the brandy in the off cuts I was eating. And it isn't your imagination, the cake does also slope slightly - so not an entirely even bake. I did try cutting it a bit to balance it out but having so much fruit it in meant I was at risk of crumbling a whole chunk off.

I popped it up on a cupcake stand (the blue one you can see poking out) and that made it very easy to cover.  Then I did some embellishments.


I couldn't help but be influenced by the biggest Disney movie of the moment, so we have a sort of ice crown with pearls and blue accents.

The design is an homage to the Sphere Cakes I made and CakeyBake who designed them. The little blue leaf shaped pieces were the cut outs from my floral snowflakes. I painted them with luster dust. You can't really see in any of the photos but I also lightly brushed the top of the cake with pearl dust and a little bit of silver glitter. The sides are wrapped with white and blue ribbon, left over from my Cinderella Button Cookies. Waste not, want not.

I boxed it up in a decorative silver box and delivered it to the school, hoping it would impress.

I'm actually pleased with how it turned out. I like the decorations and it's kind of cute.

Do you have any cake disaster stories? Cakes that started badly and ended up ok?