Welcome back to my Christmas Cake saga 2015
Just in case you missed Part 1 here is a roundup everything that has gone wrong:
- Not enough fruit for the recipe, I forgot to buy currants
- Not enough butter (sort of)
- Made the wrong ratio of the recipe, which is why there was not enough butter
- 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:
- My greaseproof paper was too high for my oven and needed snipping
- The oven was on 180 not 140
- 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?