November 11, 2020
Many people complain that Christmas starts too early these days. Halloween is barely over, and the shops have their decorations up. But in actual fact in times gone by many Irish Mammy’s would have had the Christmas Cakes and Puddings, well made by October, in order for them to have time enough to mature properly before the big day.
That day is over for many, in a lot of households both mam and dad are working and just keeping on top of the day to day chores can prove difficult for families.
That does not mean we have to forgo some of the older Christmas traditions and experiences such as mince pies, Christmas puddings and of course ‘the Christmas cake’.
Supermarkets have these on there shelves sometimes months before Christmas. But if you want something special, a little less generic you can try your local bakery who hand craft their cakes each with their own unique recipe and style. All bakers will make their own Christmas or fruit cake differently.
Christmas cakes are made in many ways, but generally they are variations on the classic fruitcake. They can be light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy etc. They are made in many different shapes, with frosting, royal icing, almond, marzipan, a dusting of icing sugar or plain. The spices and dried fruits in the cake are supposed to represent the exotic eastern spices brought by the three Wise Men to the new born King! The fruit is all soaked overnight in the whiskey, brandy or even Guinness in a covered bowl. Then the next day it is baked. Once the cake is baked it can be kept moist by pouring a small amount of alcohol (this can be brandy, sherry, or whiskey) into holes in the cake every week until Christmas.