One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks
Yesterday I decided that if I didn’t make our Christmas cake I could forget it as time is running out. I had bought a prepackaged bag of mixed fruit all weighed out with no waste from Gem. I made it last year and it was pretty good so making it again was a no brainer. Brandy procured, the fruit was left to soak in 150ml of the glorious liquer over night.
So today was predetermined to be cake baking day. Well, all I can say is that it was an eventful afternoon. Some lessons were learned and I’m now passing on my knowledge to you.
Lesson No 1 – make sure you are in the best of your health before you start. I’ve an upper respiratory infection and am on antibiotics. This leads to chaotic thinking. That’s my excuse.
Lesson No 2 – if your kitchen is small like mine, at least clean off the worktop before you start. This may mean having to add to an already crowded kitchen table but DO IT!!! You will regret it otherwise when your bowl of beaten eggs decides it’s had enough and heads off the counter onto you and the floor.
Lesson No 3 – make sure the dishwasher is empty and the draining board above it is clear. Refer to Lesson 2 above.
Lesson No 4 – actually measure your cake tin the day before rather than wasting time searching your cabinets for one you thought you had, going out and buying a new one then opening the press when you get home only to find the one you thought was the wrong size is actually THE correct one you used last year. Follow Mary Berry’s advice and mark the size on the underside of the tin with a permanent marker. You fool!
Lesson No 5 – that stand mixer you bought is not up to the job except at the end. Changing beaters and whisks will not rescue the butter and sugar mix now when you should have used a hand beater in the first place…
And finally Lesson No 6 – would you please make sure you have ice ready for the gin and tonic you now need (sod the antibiotics)! I guess frozen lemon will have to do.
The cake is mixed and in the tin, now in the oven for the next 2-3 hours. It looks ok. It might even bake! We will know later. Or maybe Christmas Day…!