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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ted realises Christmas is coming


fast … and it’s dawned on me that I have missed the boat … the Christmas Cake boat that is.  Had I been intending to make my own cake I should have actually done it a long time ago and by now it should be well settled into its “feeding routine”.  Yes folks, Christmas cakes are soaks, and they need to be fed a little alcohol like brandy every couple of days, and turned regularly in their tin, right up to the time that you scoff them.

Christmas cakes are thought to have been a variation on the theme of steamed Christmas pudding when finding they had pudding dough left over some enterprising cook added a bit of flour and a few eggs and baked the mixture and voila cake. Christmas cakes weren’t actually always eaten on Christmas day, they were in fact a cake for the twelfth night, the end of the Christmas festival period around the 5th of January.  Then along came that legendary party pooper OliverCromwell and his puritan mates who banned public feasting in 1640, including a ban on Christmas mince pies. Christmas day however remained a festival day and a public holiday so cake consumption simply moved back to the 25th of December.

 There are many variations on a theme through the different countries where Christmas cake is eaten. The English prefer theirs dark and rich, laden with fruit and glace cherries, and in Yorkshire they eat it with cheese – the Doll does this too and she’s not even from Yorkshire.  The Scottish hark to a lighter model and “feed” theirs with whisky. In Japan it’s usually a sponge cake with cream and strawberries. In the Philippines it’s a bright yellow pound cake fed with rosewater, rum and palm sugar syrup. In Germany it’s stolen or “Christstolen”, in Italy, Panettone, and in France it’s a Yule log cake called “Buche de Noel”.

I decided that I would put myself in the hands of the Christmas cake making professionals and sought out “The Edmiston Sisters” and their range of traditional Christmas cake delights.  They really are 3 sisters, and they make their cakes to a secret family recipe that has been handed down and perfected over the generations. The Doll and I had to do a taste test of course and I can say that they really do deliver the rich, moist, sweet, nutty and fruity goods!! They even have a recipe on their website for an ice cream made with your left over cake crumbs … what left over crumbs???

3 comments:

Sharon Anck said...

Now that is a taste testing session I would have enjoyed. Over here we call that "fruitcake" and I for one love it. And, when I say "one" I do mean "one". There are not many people here in the states that have a fondness for fruitcake.

William Kendall said...

Feeding routine? For cakes?

I have had Christstolen, which is very tasty.

Angie said...

It's all coming too soon!

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