Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not Christmas, but Christmas baking

This past week I did it again--made a traditional Christmas sweet that I've never made (or even tasted) before. Christmas cake!

For those Yanks who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a fruitcake---now, now---wait! Not that awful plastic and sawdust thing strangled in cellophane...this is a rich cake loaded with real dried fruit and candied fruit that I mostly candied myself, including real glace cherries. And I'm not using cheap cooking sherry to douse it, but a decent cognac.

After it's baked and then aged with the brandy, it's wrapped in an almond paste (marzipan) "icing". It must wait for its final wrapping for nearly a week, as the oil from the almonds will otherwise stain the royal icing yellow.

Right after its final icing, it's decorated. I'm still deciding, but am leaning in the direction of making marzipan holly leaves and berries...and maybe a sugar mouse or two.

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