I am aware that we are well into 2017 and that my final Christmas Cake post is well past the due date. As a child I remember time around the holiday period dragging, especially when it came to opening presents! However as an adult I feel that time has suddenly sped up and I couldn’t care less about opening gifts, it’s more about how and when will I get everything done.

This Christmas was no exception. My cake was looking good and had been fed regularly with brandy.  I was on time in terms of getting it decorated and ready to take to my in-laws on Christmas Eve day – or so I thought! 

Having gone back to the recipe I realised the cake needed a drying out period of about 2-3 days (a bit like me after New Years). Yikes – I had precisely 1 day. I’ll be honest I did consider using my hairdryer, but thought what’s the worst that can happen if the cake hasn’t had the right amount of drying out time. Turns out – nothing.

Unfortunately the grand designs I envisioned for the cake decorating didn’t go according to plan. I wanted to use food colouring to make green holly leaves out of marzipan. I had a go and despite the mixture looking a bit fluorescent, I thought it could work. Then I tasted it. YUCK!!!! I don”t remember food colouring having such an awful taste. Bitter and horrid – thank goodness I didn’t put any of it on the cake. So it was going to be an all white cake with a few sprinkles – classy.

The pictures were rushed as I finished decorating it about 20 minutes before we had to leave. All in all I think for a first attempt it’s not too bad but my decorating skills definitely need work!

As for the taste of the cake – well the family gave it rave reviews. Typically just as Christmas arrived and I was finally able to relax I was struck by a lurgy which has left me flat out pretty much since boxing day. I have only recently started to sit up! Luckily the cake has a long shelf life and yesterday I was finally about to eat the piece that was saved for me – it was worth the wait!

Ready to decorate

Before decorating brush the cake with apricot jam to help the marzipan stick

Marzipan ready to roll

Marzipan on – bit of a patch up job in the middle

Rolling out the icing

Icing on – now adding a few icing decorations (food colouring in the bin)

Icing cracking a bit – how do people get such a smooth finish?

Sprinkles make everything better

Okay this is NOT the cake I pictured in my mind but it’s the taste that counts right?

Delicious! I am also pleased with the thin and even layers of marzipan and icing

Overall I am pleased with the end result – I just wish I had been able to eat more. Next year I’ll see if I can improve on my decorations. Next post are the New Year’s Eve rum balls I also didn’t get to eat until well after the celebrations finished.