I don’t cook. No really, I don’t. I follow recipes, and produce meals out of necessity, rather than pleasure. So I’m not quite sure what possessed me to suddenly want to make a Christmas cake this year. I blame Waitrose – every week I’ve been in there for about the last two months they’ve had piles and piles of their “make your own Delia Christmas cake” kits all over the store. And every week I’ve walked right past them, until the week before Christmas, when they’d all been marked down to half price – £5 rather than £10. And seeing as how I can’t resist a bargain, I grabbed one.
Mind you, after I’d been around the shop to pick up all of the extra ingredients that weren’t included in the box, I’m not sure it was that much of a bargain after all!
I promised the geekdaughter that we’d make it together, and then we completely failed to make the time to do it before Christmas. I decided she was trying to tell me something when I opened my present from her on Christmas Day and it was a mixing bowl, set of measuring spoons, wooden spoon and a whisk. “Everything we need to make a cake together Mummy” she explained. Bless.
So on Boxing Day I decided we would make the cake. We followed the instructions, and I must say I actually found it all very easily. The kit contained all the dried ingredients required, all correctly measured (including dried fruit that had been pre-soaked in brandy), so all I had to do was add the eggs and a couple of fresh ingredients and mix it all together. It cooked in the oven all afternoon, and when it had cooled enough for me to turn it out of the cake tin I was extremely pleased with the result. It looked good!
I had originally intended to ice the cake the following day with the geekdaughter, but on Boxing Day evening the geekdaddy suddenly and unexpectedly offered to ice it for me. An offer which I very graciously accepted – it kept him happy for thirty minutes or so, and saved me a job for the following day!
I must say I think he made a great job of it! The instruction card called for “snowflake cutters”, but we didn’t have any of those, so he created the decoration entirely by hand. He has a lot more patience for this kind of thing than I do – for at least the last 5 minutes of the process I was watching over his shoulder telling him he’d put enough silver balls on it already!
We had our first slice of the cake yesterday evening, and it tasted really good! Considering I hadn’t made it months in advance and fed it brandy on a regular basis since then it’s extremely good. I just hope it lasts until our visitors arrive on New Year’s Eve!
There is just one downside of the geekdaddy getting involved in any kind of cooking. And that’s that I have to clean up after him. And if you see the state he got himself into, you may be able to imagine what the rest of the kitchen looked like when he’d finished!