Traditionally Christmas cakes in England are made in early October and fed weekly with brandy maturing nicely until two weeks before the big day when the marzipan & icing go on.
For many years my MIL enjoyed baking a Christmas cake as a special gift for us and, as tradition had it, would always cover the basic fruit cake with a thick layer of marzipan and then royal icing on top of that.
A small christmas tree, children playing, silver balls and all kinds of other cake decorations would cover the surface and a wide red ribbon was fixed in place around it.
DH & I hate marzipan and icing but never wanted to hurt her feelings and I don't think she ever knew, that we would remove every last bit before savouring the rich fruit cake beneath.
Readers of my blog will know that I was enjoying myself at our HHI home away from home in October which means that I was quite late with baking my cake this year.
Delia (Smith) to the rescue.
The December issue of my Woman & Home magazine was delivered early November and included recipes taken from Delia's new book "Delia's Happy Christmas".
Funny thing is at Delia online the recipe is called Last Minute Sherry Mincemeat Cakebut whatever your choice of tipple this is a such an easy recipe to follow and produces an amazing looking cake.
After the festivities are over I'll report back if it tasted as good as it looks.
In the late 1800's Woman & Home magazine was titled Woman at Home, here is their menu for Christmas Day and two more Victorian illustrations from my V&A Christmas List Book.
I'm joining Michael Lee @Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday this week and am so looking forward to seeing all the amazing festive recipes and picking up some new ideas. Her blog already has so many wonderful treats to share, care to join us?