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  • FIRST POST
    vickym
    Quick query about making my own Christmas Cake
    • #1
    • 23rd Sep 07, 8:45 PM
    Quick query about making my own Christmas Cake 23rd Sep 07 at 8:45 PM
    Hi I would be grateful if someone could help me with a couple of queries that I have in making my own christmas cake. Yes I am going to attempt to make my own - I am going to take my time following the receipe carefully and fingers crossed it comes out ok.

    Yje receipe that I am going to use is Delia Smiths classic christmas cake but on the instructions it says

    1) tie a band of brown paper round the outside edge of the tin - can i use just ordinary brown paper that we use for packaging parcels or not and can I tie this with ordinary white string - or will that burn

    2) Receipe says "cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper " - what is silicone paper and where would I be able to purchase this from - is it greaseproof paper?

    3) Is Brandy the best alcohol to use in a Christmas cake ( I hope it is its my favourite)


    Any help most appreciated.

    Thanks Vicky xx
    Remember is nice to be important but more important to be nice

    -----------------------------------------------
Page 1
  • borderlakland
    • #2
    • 23rd Sep 07, 8:53 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Sep 07, 8:53 PM
    i have used delias reciepe and as far as i remember ordinary brown paper is fine,normal string doesn't burn, silicon paper is differnet to greaseproof but i'm sure i used greaseproof,it is usually near the greaseproof in supermarkets.

    as far as alcohol goes i think any spirit will work(brandy/rum etc) so go with what you prefer.i did "feed" mine a few times before xmas to keep it topped up and moist
    no doubt someone with more knowledge than me will come along soon
    Lead us not into temptation...

    just tell us where it is and we'll find it....
  • Tracey04
    • #3
    • 23rd Sep 07, 9:49 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Sep 07, 9:49 PM
    I leave the fruit to soak in what ever spirit for a few days before I make the cake ab=nd then feed it until I decorate.
    I have always used double layer of newspaper round the outside of the tin tied with string.line the tin with double greaseproof and greaseproof circle on top then a newspaper circle.
    works for me everytime,the smell of newspaper in the oven is a childhood memory, that this is the start of christmas
    must go and find recipe to do mine!
    • madoldbat
    • By madoldbat 23rd Sep 07, 9:52 PM
    • 452 Posts
    • 814 Thanks
    madoldbat
    • #4
    • 23rd Sep 07, 9:52 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Sep 07, 9:52 PM
    Hi! Vickym.
    I make 6-10 Christmas cakes each year some small but mainly med sized.
    I use my Grans recpie,to be honest not much diffrent from those you find in all the books just no mixed peel.
    I have never used a brown paper coller or a cover for the top,although I know most books reccomend it.The tempriture is low and a good solid cake tin well lined is all I need.I fold my grease proof paper over so double thickness.A med cake on gas 1 can take 4-4.5 hours, a big one 6-8 hours
    Put those in before I go to bed
    When cool peirce with a cocktail stick and feed with 15ml of brandy,rum ect.
    I use an oral syringe from the chemist,cost about 50p and make the job much easier.Wrap in grease proof paper then foil then air tight container and feed evry 2 weeks up till beg of Dec.No more or will weep into your iceing.And is now only eadible by over 18s
    Hope you enjoy making your cake,a good fruit cake makes a welcome Christmas gift for someone older as they keep well (the cake not the person)
    and gentlemen who dont cook will worship the ground you walk on
    Some of the best lessons we ever learn,we learn from our mistakes and failures.the error of the past is the success and wisdom of the future.
  • louidog
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 07, 9:53 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 07, 9:53 PM
    I always start soaking my fruit with some cheaper brandy and then add whatever I have laying about if needed. Orange juice is fine to add also. A West Indian friend of mine has a rum pot or whatever she calls it and the fruit soaks for months and months....I used this method last year for my Christmas puddings and they were so delicious and very alcoholic too!
    My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
    -Erma Bombeck-
    ~ Member of the MSE Celebdaq Minileague ~
  • vickym
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:15 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:15 PM
    i have used delias reciepe and as far as i remember ordinary brown paper is fine,normal string doesn't burn, silicon paper is differnet to greaseproof but i'm sure i used greaseproof,it is usually near the greaseproof in supermarkets.

    as far as alcohol goes i think any spirit will work(brandy/rum etc) so go with what you prefer.i did "feed" mine a few times before xmas to keep it topped up and moist
    no doubt someone with more knowledge than me will come along soon
    Originally posted by borderlakland
    Thanks for the info I have had a look on tesco.com and you are correct the paper is on the same aisle as greaseproof paper so I now know where to look when I go instore so thanks for the info.

    I leave the fruit to soak in what ever spirit for a few days before I make the cake ab=nd then feed it until I decorate.
    I have always used double layer of newspaper round the outside of the tin tied with string.line the tin with double greaseproof and greaseproof circle on top then a newspaper circle.
    works for me everytime,the smell of newspaper in the oven is a childhood memory, that this is the start of christmas
    must go and find recipe to do mine!
    by tracey04
    thanks for the info Tracey 04 regarding newspaper round the outside edge of the tin - I wouldnt not have thought of that - Is it advisable to line the cake tin with grease proof paper or not - on delias receipe it just says grease your tin?
    I am gonna soak my fruit for a couple of days before I start baking it - and I am gonna use brandy - oh its making me feeling hungry and christmassy just thinking about this now.
    Remember is nice to be important but more important to be nice

    -----------------------------------------------
  • vickym
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:21 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:21 PM
    Hi! Vickym.
    I make 6-10 Christmas cakes each year some small but mainly med sized.
    I use my Grans recpie,to be honest not much diffrent from those you find in all the books just no mixed peel.
    I have never used a brown paper coller or a cover for the top,although I know most books reccomend it.The tempriture is low and a good solid cake tin well lined is all I need.I fold my grease proof paper over so double thickness.A med cake on gas 1 can take 4-4.5 hours, a big one 6-8 hours
    Put those in before I go to bed
    When cool peirce with a cocktail stick and feed with 15ml of brandy,rum ect.
    I use an oral syringe from the chemist,cost about 50p and make the job much easier.Wrap in grease proof paper then foil then air tight container and feed evry 2 weeks up till beg of Dec.No more or will weep into your iceing.And is now only eadible by over 18s
    Hope you enjoy making your cake,a good fruit cake makes a welcome Christmas gift for someone older as they keep well (the cake not the person)
    and gentlemen who dont cook will worship the ground you walk on
    Originally posted by madoldbat
    Thanks Madoldbat ( gosh just realised what your user name actually reads - I am sure you are not at all like your name suggests )
    Your sound like a dab hand at this christmas cake making thing Could I ask why dont you use mixed peel in your cakes?
    This might sound really daft but you say you dont put paper on the outside edge of your cake tin but you line it with double folded greaseproof paper. How exactly do you line your tin - if its round - do you cut 2 circles for the bottom and then put double strip round the inside edge - or do you put it all in as one piece and crease it inside to fit? (hope that makes sense)

    You have given me a great idea as wekk Madoldbat, this would make a perfect gift to my grandfather as he is on his own and doesnt get out much - so I may do a small one just for him, I think he will love it.

    thanks for all the advice - and sorry everyone for giving you all more questions - its just I have never attempted this before and would like to try and get it as right as possible.

    Vicky
    Remember is nice to be important but more important to be nice

    -----------------------------------------------
  • vickym
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:28 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:28 PM
    I always start soaking my fruit with some cheaper brandy and then add whatever I have laying about if needed. Orange juice is fine to add also. A West Indian friend of mine has a rum pot or whatever she calls it and the fruit soaks for months and months....I used this method last year for my Christmas puddings and they were so delicious and very alcoholic too!
    Originally posted by louidog

    Thanks for the info - I think your advice for soaking the fruit makes sense - if the fruit it well soaked it would make the cake more moist wouldnt it?

    Oh your West African friends cake sounds rather tasty I bet your drunk after a couple of slices of that... Whats her address Sounds delicious

    Did you really make your own christmas puddings where they nicer than the shop bought ones - and are they easy to make they sound delicious too.

    Has anyone ever got drunk making their own christmas cake - I dont mean by eating it - but by continually putting brandy into it - ie. one bit for the cake - a tipple for the cook

    By the way do you feed it with alcohol through the base of the cake or through the top? - gosh there are most questions than I realised

    Sorry if I am being a pain in the bum

    Remember is nice to be important but more important to be nice

    -----------------------------------------------
  • Tracey04
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:32 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Sep 07, 10:32 PM
    I line the inside of the tin, with a circle of greaseproof at the bottom, then cut a long length that will fit round tin and a bit more. the height has to be the tin plus say another inch and a half. fold this inch and half over then cut little slits to the crease line so that it looks like a long frill. put in tin, then cover all the frilly bits (that have now laid over the 1st greaseproof with another greaseproof circle.

    that explantion was terrible, im tired, maybe someone else can explain better.
  • louidog
    vickym, the Christmas puddings were so good that was I taken by surprise by them!! I think I may have used the Delia Christmas pudding recipe from her Christmas book but can't be totally sure on that. They are dead easy to make, just make sure you have the greaseproof, foil and string but you'll have all that after you have made your Christmas cake I am a bit of what I call a "fiddler" and can never leave a recipe alone...I always have to add something!
    My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
    -Erma Bombeck-
    ~ Member of the MSE Celebdaq Minileague ~
  • Tracey04
    http://www.cookuk.co.uk/techniques/recipe_caketin_greaseproof_paper.htm
  • trying-very-trying
    Oooooh! This thread has taken me right back to the first year I was married. I made my one and only ever christmas cake from the "dairy book of home cookery"(it came free form the milkman, I think, if you bought so many extra pints of milk). It took about 4-6 hours to cook, then I took it out the oven, and went to visit my parents, by the time I came home, dh had decided he would have a bit of cake. It was finished next day, and I never made another one. It was good though.

    I often wonder what happened to that cookbook, I used it nearly all the time, when I ws first married. I wouldn't mind trying the christmas cake recipe again.
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member # 593 - Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts!



    • madoldbat
    • By madoldbat 24th Sep 07, 6:02 AM
    • 452 Posts
    • 814 Thanks
    madoldbat
    Vickym this link is a nice example.Thanks Tracey04. I differ only by using a square bit of paper big enough when folded over to stand the tin on,draw around base with fiber pen then cut circle out.Left over bits paper I save and use to grease othe tins. I take a pice of paper long enough to go around tin and fold in half length ways,then fold again about 2.5cm from one edge ,be firm with this crease if its nice and sharp its easier to get in tin.Then snip small folded area as shown and put in tin.

    I dont use peel as most people dont like it I tend to double up on cherries most people who like fruit cake do like these.A tiny bit more expensive but if its a gift!!!
    Hope some of this made sence
    Some of the best lessons we ever learn,we learn from our mistakes and failures.the error of the past is the success and wisdom of the future.
  • odds-n-sods
    but it doesn't taste teh same without the peel...... and I dont' care for the cherries



    • madoldbat
    • By madoldbat 24th Sep 07, 7:02 AM
    • 452 Posts
    • 814 Thanks
    madoldbat
    Morning Odds-n-sods,
    Sorry I should not genralise
    I make cakes to order and find lots of people request no peel,some like you dont like cherries,some dont like brandy so ask for rum.
    Most odd thing is I dont like cake at all,ANY cake
    Some of the best lessons we ever learn,we learn from our mistakes and failures.the error of the past is the success and wisdom of the future.
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 24th Sep 07, 8:30 AM
    • 37,007 Posts
    • 475,975 Thanks
    pigpen
    Oh no.. NOW I have to go out and buy my christmas cake bits.. you lot are so not good for my money saving ways.. lol... I don't even like it, I just sniff it!!!! In fact only 2 of the children eat it.. but I can make one for my mother, she likes it.. I might make one for my gran as well.. just for the fun of it.. she doesn't bake much now everyone is grown up, she and I used to spend most of Saturday baking for when my cousins came over to visit... we'd make bacon and egg pie, scones, tarts, cake... aaahhhh reminiscing again..

    Cake then.. best find my recipe!! and do a cake tesco shop!! (O r I may be really scrimpy and do a Lidl shop.. except it is raining and I'll have to carry it all home!... tesco it is then!

    Madoldbat.. I don't like any cake either!!
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    • stefejb
    • By stefejb 24th Sep 07, 8:46 AM
    • 1,719 Posts
    • 18,997 Thanks
    stefejb
    Has anyone ever got drunk making their own christmas cake - I dont mean by eating it - but by continually putting brandy into it - ie. one bit for the cake - a tipple for the cook


    Originally posted by vickym
    Not really the same but we took to xmas pudidngs to holland with us for my dad and dbro. my baby sisters were 10 and 12 at the time and insisted that the pudding be soaked and lit over and over as it was the highlight of teir xmas. The next day we took the other pudding to my dbros and his his kids and did it all over again. Although I thought that the brandy would have been burned off the puddings were still very very alcoholic
    I'm going to feed our children non-organic food and with the money saved take them to the zoo - half man half biscuit 2008
  • vickym
    Thanks for this link Tracey04 its easy to understand and a big help

    Louidog - If my christmas cake turns out looking Ok I may just give the christmas puddings a go - cause they sound lovely

    Madoldbat - thanks for the idea about drawing round the base of the tin - thats really useful and would be much quicker. Thanks for the info on the peel - I didnt realise some people dont like it so I will ask before making any for someone else.

    Would it be best to use a solid cake tin or the type where the bottom comes out?

    Could I ask with regards to the fruit used - on the receipe it gives certain measurements of currants, sultants etc - do you have to stick to these measurements or can you just buy a bag of mixed fruit? From the list of ingredients on the bags of fruit the %per fruit is about right to the % used per fruit on the receipe. Is using this mixed lot a good idea or not?


    Pigpen - sorry for prompting you to go out and buy all your caking bits n bobs. I have decided that I am NOT buying anything untill I have it all clear in my head exactly what I need and the best method of doing it - that way I am not half way through baking and realise that I need the answer to a question.

    Could I ask - people have mentioned Rum or Brandy - which is best - I have brandy in as I love brandy Courvoissier (hope I spelt that correctly) is this ok to use or should I be buying a cheaper brandy. I wont drink the cheaper ones - they dont taste the same - so is it best to stick with the brand I like to drink?

    Sorry for all these questions - you are all really nice and helpful is like talking to my sadly department mum - she was a wonderful cook always baked our birthday cakes, christmas cakes etc etc - but sadly I was only 18 when she passed away and wasnt interested in cake baking then - wish I had been cause my mums christmas cake was so moist and had loads of alcohol in it - one year she wasnt well and so hadnt had time to finish her cake - so she purchased a shop bought one - no one ate it - as it just wasnt the same and in the end we just ate the fruit cake that she had made as it was much nicer than the one she had bought even without any icing or decoration on it.

    Happy memories
    Last edited by vickym; 24-09-2007 at 10:21 AM.
    Remember is nice to be important but more important to be nice

    -----------------------------------------------
  • squishyclaire
    As this is a Christmas cake thread, I thought I might also ask for a little bit of advice. I am making hampers this year for pressies and have been making jams and chutneys for the last three weeks. I saw a site on the internet that suggested that you could make a mini xmas cake in a small baked bean tin. I thought this would be a good idea because some of the people I am making hampers for are on their own. Has anyone tried anything like this (or am I the only insane one!) or does anyone have any suggestions of how to make a little cake without going to a major expense buying specialist tins?
  • louidog

    Could I ask - people have mentioned Rum or Brandy - which is best - I have brandy in as I love brandy Courvoissier (hope I spelt that correctly) is this ok to use or should I be buying a cheaper brandy. I wont drink the cheaper ones - they dont taste the same - so is it best to stick with the brand I like to drink?
    Happy memories
    Originally posted by vickym
    Vickym I only drink "proper" brandy too so anything that isn't Courvoissier or Martell gets used for cakes etc. I am never too pleased when pubs etc try to fob me off with what I call cooking brandy

    Have fun making the cake and puddings!
    My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
    -Erma Bombeck-
    ~ Member of the MSE Celebdaq Minileague ~
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