Christmas Cakes – The First Step In Planning Our Perfect Christmas
Believe it or not it’s that time of year when planning begins for this year’s Christmas cakes and, with extra time on our hands during an extended lockdown, many are probably attempting to create their own. We’re no different. Around this time of year my mum and I team up to plan our batch of Christmas cakes to ensure a minimum of 6 months to mature before the big day.
This got me thinking, however – Where did this Christmas tradition come from? We’ve had a Christmas cake at our table every year for as long as I can remember but had never thought about why, so I did some googling.
Christmas cake is a long-standing tradition, but it has also evolved over many years. It all started with the Plum Pudding, a way to end a religious day’s fasting and line the stomach for further celebrations.
We Brits obviously love our sweets, as Honey and other fruits soon joined the mix which would become known as the Christmas Pudding. It was around the 16th Century when the pudding, after replacing the oats with flour and eggs, started to resemble what we know as Christmas cake today. Wealthier families began wrapping their cakes in marzipan for an extra layer of decadence, as well as adding spices imported from overseas to add a touch of the exotic, supposedly to represent the three wise men.
The cakes of the past were often made just before Christmas. In contrast, we as a nation now make our cakes in advance and ‘feed’ them with our choice of brandy, sherry or whiskey in the lead up to Christmas day.
Our own recipe calls for the best dried fruits, cherries and almonds available on the market (no-one wants to tuck into a moist fruit cake only to find the stalks weren’t properly removed from the currants). These are soaked in premium brandy (this year we’ve opted for Courvoisier) before being added to the cake mix.
Our Christmas cakes are made a minimum of 6 months ahead of Christmas to allow the flavour to deepen and mature to ensure the perfect slice. All our cakes come traditionally decorated with Marzipan, white fondant and seasonal decorations.
We are now taking orders for Christmas cakes up until the end of June. If you’d like more information or would like to register your interest, please visit our Christmas cakes page.
As always, if you would like a specific design or something a little more bespoke, we’d love to hear from you.