It has been a shameful 4 months since I last blogged. As always, I have excuses and reasons for the absence but needless to say, despite my lack of words, the rolling pin and oven have been as busy as ever.
I’ve made Christmas cakes based on my Christmas Jumper Cake:
I’ve been experimenting with different flavoured cakes (cashew, coconut and chilli, salted caramel and apple, coffee):
I’ve been baking things other than cake, turning my hand to shortbread, biscuits, meringues and even bread:
And you can’t try other baking without experimenting with pie:
Despite my foray into other types of baking, I’ve still been as busy as ever with cakes and have many a cake related story waiting to be blogged. Watch this space.
It has become standard for my mum to bake a fruitcake at Christmas time and leave the decoration for me to do when I go home. I’m quite glad of this arrangement as I’m not sure I have the patience or the organisation to prepare a fruitcake properly – you know, with oozing boozy fruit, soaked for weeks in advance. Luckily, she is a dab hand at this and so, this year as normal, a lovely square fruitcake was waiting for me on my return home.
I was thinking on what to do for the decoration and was struggling for inspiration. I wanted it to be massively different from the previous years’ snowman cake and still be original. It seems fancy cakes are more popular than ever, and as I was searching the shops for last minute Christmas gifts was disheartened by the volume of pretty pre-decorated cakes you can buy. I wondered why I was bothering when I couldn’t think of anything unique.
It wasn’t until Christmas Eve when I really had to get the cake finished that this idea came to me. I had been on a pub crawl with some friends the weekend before Christmas and the dress code was bad Christmas jumpers. We were a group of over 20 and everyone made a splendid effort with the knitwear; we ended up being a plenty a-patterned Christmassy group singing festively down London streets.
I was musing about how popular Christmas jumpers have become this year and how easy it is to come across one without searching the back of your parent’s cupboards for a relic from the 80s when it struck me – an icing Christmas jumper draped over the cake. I rushed to the shops to buy the last few bits I needed – I wasn’t quite sure what pattern the jumper would have on it, but I knew I wanted it to be red. I managed to find icicle cutters at the last minute and after the traditional layers of marzipan and white icing, I came up with this design.
It went down well with the family on Christmas Day and through some chance cutting became a V-neck jumper on Boxing Day.
My poor mother – one day I’ll make a nice conventional snow scene or flowers or something traditional to go on her cake, but in the meantime I’m happy for this icing jumper to join the festive knitwear craze.