Christmas cake recipe with a twist
I HAVE a peculiar problem. In truth, it’s not so much a problem but a pressure; every year himself makes the Christmas puddings. He doesn’t just make them but, extraordinarily and kind of annoyingly, he is super-organised throughout the whole production.
The process kicks off on a Sunday in early October. Because these babies need to boil for hours, he invariably nominates that day of the week as it’s the only day we tend to stay put. October is nominated as he is of the firm opinion that any decent pudding needs some fairly decent maturing; he knows his stuff, this guy.
Of course it’s all very good of him, commendably avant-garde and undeniably “new-man-ish” so you might well ask what is my problem? Simply answered the problem is the Christmas cake; the laws of democracy at our place cite that the Christmas cake is entirely my gig.
So from the moment those perfectly primped puddings are cooked and shelved, the pressure is on to bake the cake. However, despite my knowing that the same rules apply to cakes as to puddings regarding time-mapping, organisation and the maturing process, I must confess there is still not a cake baked and it’s now December.
Feeling hugely pressurised, stressed and inexplicably annoyed, I found myself rummaging through my mountain of recipes doing the same ding-dong I do every year until I stopped on one - a recipe long since forgotten. And as I read through it, the strangest thing happened; the pressure fell away, my tension evaporated and a smile nudged across my face affording space for a belly laugh to errupt from… well… my belly. Of course, I still haven’t baked the cake but paradoxically I own the after-taste of a recipe whose sweetness rivals any confection. So to alleviate any pressure out there, I thought I might share the following which for me was a wee recipe for laughter. “Joyeful” Christmas Cake: Bottle of whiskey, 1 cup butter, I cup brown sugar, I cup dried-fruit, lemon juice, 4 large eggs, 1 tsp baking powder, nuts.
First sample the whiskey. Take a large bowl, making sure to check the whiskey again. To be certain the whiskey is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat twice. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat 1 cup of butter in a fluffy bowl. Add spoontea of sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another cup. Beat two legs, add to bowl and chuck in the dried fruit. Mix on the turner. Stiff mix with a slurp of whiskey, sampling it again to test for tonsisticity.
Next sift two cups of salt or something – who cares? Check the whiskey. Next sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add your babblespoon of brown sugar or whatever colour you find. Wix well. Grease the oven, turn the cake onto 360° or whatever. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl in the bin. Drain the whiskey and go to bed!