So I phoned my Mum, expecting, to be honest, for her to pop over for a cup of tea, and then, with exaggerated secrecy present me with a faded brown page, passed down from the ages, containing the ultimate Christmas cake recipe. In reality, she brought me a ready measured Christmas Cake Kit from Tesco. True, it was endorsed by Mary Berry, but that's not really the point.
However I set about the task in earnest, and unpacked the bag of ingredients and the recipe card. I actually have to credit the brilliant simplicity of these kits. All the dry ingredients are measured, bagged and labelled in the kit, and all you need to add are butter, eggs, and citrus peel. The sheet gives you step by step instructions on making the cake mix, and the recipe and quantities are all written down so you can actually keep it for another year.
The Mary Berry endorsed Tesco Kit recipe is as follows;
210g dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
40g chopped almonds
10g black treacle
210g plain flour
3g mixed spice
833g soaked fruit mix (currants, raisins, sultanas, cherries, apricots, mixed peel and brandy)
10g apricot jam
250g icing sugar
The method is surprisingly simple. Pre-heat the over to 140 degrees. Grease an 8 inch tin, and line the base and sides with baking parchment. Make a lid for the cake from parchment as well, and cut a small hole in the centre to let any steam from the cake escape during cooking.
|Line Tins with Greaseproof Paper or Baking Parchment|
|Christmas Cake Mixture|
|Place the mixture in the prepared tins|
All in all, I have to say that the Christmas Cake Kit was not such a bad idea, and actually I picked up another couple at the supermarket last week for £5 each, which, lets be honest, you would never manage to buy the individual ingredients for, and actually, you are still doing all of the cooking so it isn't really cheating... is it? I suppose, as always, the proof will be in the eating - I'll let you all know how it goes on Christmas Day!