Thursday 15 December 2011

Soused Christmas Cake

Nigella Lawson has such a way with words doesn't she?

The cranberries 'hail' into saucepans and pomegranate seeds 'rain-down' onto warm lamb salads.  I knew I wouldn't have to wait very long for her to provide a more eloquent description for a boiled fruitcake than I could. I have to say that I've always felt that the description didn't quite live up to the end results.  Hence I give you my 'Soused Christmas Cake'...that evolved from the marriage of Rosie's Boiled Fruitcake recipe and and my  sister J's, Boiled Norfolk Fruitcake recipe, and of course Nigella.

The best fruit cakes take time to make.  I've just read somewhere that you should make them at least four weeks before you want to eat them...even if you're just making them to freeze! They are wonderful if you allow the  vine fruits to soak, or souse in flavourful fruit juice or alcohol and spices, so that they plump up and become delicious and juicy. Add heat and the whole process is speeded up.   As usual I was running a bit late so I made use of this method.  

As does Nigella, you can link to her recipe here. It does require storing for seven days after boiling the ingredients together before baking, but if like me you were running short of time, you could leave out this stage.

You can find my Soused Fruitcake recipe here

I keep being reminded how bad sugar is for you and as the vine fruits are naturally very sweet I reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe by half and decided not to ice the cake or use almond paste. No-one in the family is keen on either. Instead I arranged un-dyed glace cherries,almonds and hazelnuts on top and then glazed with a little Agave Syrup and water. I baked it in a bunt pan, just to make it look a little different than usual.

I'm really happy with the results and can't wait to start eating. You may have noticed from the top image that I was a little impatient when removing the cake from the bunt tin, hence the crack...but at least I was able to pinch a few crumbs...yummy...roll on Christmas...

Oh and I had intended to add some chocolate in the form of cocoa powder which is something that Nigella does...apparently you can't really taste the chocolate but it just adds a depth of flavour and richer colour. Unfortunatley I'd run out of cocoa, having just made two chocolate cakes and a big batch of Brooklyn Blackout Cake Custard which are now both secreted away in the freezer until Christmas Day...

Oh and the pheasant dilemma?(spelt it correctly this time) 'A' plucked and cleaned them (and even kept some of the beautiful feathers for H who is really into feathers at the moment)...they are now safely in the freezer too...


  1. That cake looks fricken brilliant!!! *s*

  2. this cake looks amazing and much more appetizing than the pheasant. oh dear.

  3. Thank you both...

    It's all gone now...we started to eat it at the weekend and I gave Hannah the rest to take think I'll have to make another for weekend...oh well the proof of the pudding is in the eating...!

    I know, it's a shame about the pheasants...thankfully Ahmad sorted them out for me...