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How do you stop a Christmas cake from burning?
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# 1
looby75
Old 28-11-2006, 1:57 PM
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Default How do you stop a Christmas cake from burning?

While I was out shopping today I had a "brain wave" lol and decided to buy one of those packs to make your own christmas cake from the Weigh Shop.

Only problem is the one and only time I tried to make a christmas cake (about 8 years ago) It was a total disaster, it burnt on top and was soggy in the middle. I think part of the problem was I didn't have the ingredients right, hence buying the "pack" everything you need all ready weighed out for you.

Any tips will be gratefully received, I plan to let the kids help me make it at the weekend.

I know I've left it a bit late, but I'm going away fro Christmas so won't be back to eat it until well into the new year so that gives me a bit extra time (just like the idea of making my own cake )

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# 2
janetmw
Old 28-11-2006, 2:14 PM
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Follow the instructions carefully, adding the correct amount of liquid, eggs etc as needed.

All rich fruit cakes need to be baked very slowly (in a 'cool' oven and for a long time). The packet should have some guidlines. Gas Mark 2 is a fairly safe bet. You should line the cake tin with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper or baking paper.

It helps if you wrap some newspaper round the edge of the tin. A double layer should be OK. Secure it with string and make sure that it is a couple of inches above the height of the tin. If you cake tin is quite thin, stand the tin on a couple of layers of newspaper on a baking sheet.

If the top of the cake seems to be cooking too quickly, cut out some greaseproof paper to rest lightly on top of the cake.

A fruit cake is cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle, comes out clean. You can also judge this by listening to your cake! Before it is cooked through fully, you can hear the cake 'singing'. It is the mixture bubbling very quietly. When the cake is cooked through, the sound stops.

When cooked, remove from oven and leave cake in the tin on a rack until cold. Remove from the tin, remove the paper used for lining the cake tin. Feed with brandy and wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil until ready for decorating.

Hope this helps.

Janet

Last edited by janetmw; 28-11-2006 at 2:16 PM.
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# 3
carly
Old 28-11-2006, 2:18 PM
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As you know, a christmas cake is cooked for a long time and it is easy for the top or sides to "catch" especially if your oven is not very even. Most cookbooks advise using a protective collar of brown paper or something similar (I usually use newspaper, but it does give off a temporary weird smell in the kitchen ) around the outside of the tin ( which is itself lined with double greasproof paper) .Three quarters of the way through the cooking check to see if the top is browning too quickly and if it is place greaseproof paper or tin foil loosely on top.. This will ensure that the centre of the cake is fully cooked before the outside overcooks.
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# 4
Biddyrolo
Old 28-11-2006, 2:20 PM
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Remember to keep an eye on it as they can cook a lot more quickly than it says in the recipe, me and my MIL have especially found this with Delia Smith.
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# 5
looby75
Old 28-11-2006, 2:47 PM
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Thank you

I have a fan oven, will this make a big difference to the cooking time, it says on the instructions that the cake should be cooked at 150c for 3 hours but if you are sing a fan oven adjust timings accordingly, but doesn't tell me what to adjust it to!

How often should I check on the cake, my MIL has this whole thing about not even opening the front door when she is making her Christmas cake because any bangs or loud noises will make it fall! Then in the next breathe tells me making Christmas cake is easy LOL

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# 6
julbags
Old 28-11-2006, 3:04 PM
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I have a fan oven and I take 20C off the temperature listed for a normal oven and keep cooking time the same. This will take it to 130C which seems about right for an Xmas Cake.
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# 7
goonlord
Old 28-11-2006, 3:05 PM
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I found this really useful:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/christmas/...als_cake.shtml
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# 8
looby75
Old 28-11-2006, 3:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julbags
I have a fan oven and I take 20C off the temperature listed for a normal oven and keep cooking time the same. This will take it to 130C which seems about right for an Xmas Cake.
130C!!!! wow I didn't know my oven even went that low LOL

Thanks for the link goonlord

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# 9
looby75
Old 28-11-2006, 11:28 PM
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SUCCESS!! I hope LOL

After reading all the advice I decided to bite the bullet and do the cake tonight and I've just taken it out of the oven (well about 40 mins ago lol), it took almost 4 hours to cook so maybe my oven doesn't like low temps but it's not burnt, I don't think it's soggy in the middle (the knife came out clean) and my house smells like a strange combination of singed paper and cinnamon/all spice LOL

Thanks everyone, I know it's late but I just wanted to let you know your advice seems to have worked

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# 10
Becles
Old 29-11-2006, 8:03 AM
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Glad to hear it turned out ok

My fruit cakes take a good few hours to cook at 130°C. I use the newspaper method as already suggested too.

I got married in a hotel that had 3 weddings going on that day. Staff said my wedding cake was the best and asked where I bought it from. I was all big headed telling them I made it myself
Here I go again on my own....
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# 11
looby75
Old 29-11-2006, 7:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becles
I got married in a hotel that had 3 weddings going on that day. Staff said my wedding cake was the best and asked where I bought it from. I was all big headed telling them I made it myself
Wow you made your own cake!! Now that is true OS commitment LOL

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# 12
Becles
Old 29-11-2006, 10:22 PM
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And I royal iced it, and did most of the decoration on it too.

But I ran out of time, so had to buy an emergency sugar paste bouquet to go on the top
Here I go again on my own....
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# 13
looby75
Old 29-11-2006, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becles
And I royal iced it, and did most of the decoration on it too.

But I ran out of time, so had to buy an emergency sugar paste bouquet to go on the top
OMG I've seen how much work goes into a wedding cake! My auntie makes them for other people as a hobby and she spends hours and hours on them, but she hasn't got the extra stress of organising a whole wedding too!

Well done to you for even getting as far as baking it, never mind the rest of the decorating you did lol!

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# 14
C1aire
Old 30-11-2006, 10:11 AM
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I just caught sight of this post out of the corner of my eye. Now I keep running the tune "how do you solve a problem like Maria?" through my brain, but changing the lyrics to "how do you stop a christmas cake from burning?"

I obviously need a break...
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# 15
looby75
Old 30-11-2006, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C1aire
I just caught sight of this post out of the corner of my eye. Now I keep running the tune "how do you solve a problem like Maria?" through my brain, but changing the lyrics to "how do you stop a christmas cake from burning?"

I obviously need a break...


You've got me doing it now too! It's scarily how well the words fit LOL

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# 16
sallywl
Old 30-11-2006, 11:49 AM
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Bf used brown paper and it worked v well, his mum told him to use a skewer to check centre its done when it comes out and its not cakey, it may be a little moist because of fruit.
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# 17
looby75
Old 30-11-2006, 12:00 PM
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my ds is off school with an ear infection and has just asked me when we are going to eat the newspaper cake, lol

(he saw me wrapping the paper round the tin before I put it in the oven)

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# 18
maypole
Old 03-12-2006, 7:41 PM
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Cool christmas cake

I put two layers of greaseproof paper inside the cake tin sides and base and two layers of brown paper on the outside of the tin. Put a greasproof paper lid on top of the cake at the beginning of cooking or near the end if you think the top will burn. There is a scientific reason why you should not keep opening the oven door when the cake is cooking. My cake was in for 4 1/2 hours on a low heat and I only checked it after 4 hours.
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