Apart from our pudding, we made a Christmas cake this year and a variation on the mince pie. Although we usually stick to a traditional fruit cake, this year we baked a ginger cake. In fact, this year was quite a year for change, as well as baking a ginger cake, we also cut it in a most unusual shape. Our cake this year was a Christmas jumper! The ginger cake was done in a large oblong tin. Two parts were cut away to form the arms and a small piece where the neck should be. We made it about a week in advance, and we were afraid about it getting dry, actually it was still nice and sticky when we cut it.
We used our apple butter to anchor a layer of marzipan and then covered it with a layer of white sugar paste. Be warned, those of you who want to make jumper-shaped cake, it is a very tricky shape to roll icing into! We mixed Royal icing, which is made using water, icing sugar and meri-white (dried egg white). We coloured the icing red and green and left some white also. The Christmas tree is sugar paste, the decorations are royal icing. The collar, cuffs and bottom edge are iced in two layers of white, with colour on top. The holly leaves are also sugar paste. We used Christmas red and holly green paste colours, from those little tubs that look so small but take forever to use up.
Another dessert we made over Christmas was a mincemeat crumble tart. The recipe came from the same newspaper as the truffle recipe. It is what it says it is, a pastry case, with mincemeat filling and a crumble topping. The pastry is a sweet shortcrust pastry, made with icing sugar. It uses a lot of mincemeat, almost a whole jar. The crumble is quite dark, made with light muscavado sugar. We had this on Christmas eve, it was delicious with cream, and also very tasty with toffee yoghurt. Unfortunately, it was so scrumptious that we ate it all before I remembered to take a picture!
It was our first time making the mincemeat tart and the first step on the road to trying out all of the recipes we have stashed away in a kitchen drawer. If I have anything to do with it, it will definitely be making a reappearance next December. Baking a ginger cake for Christmas was also very successful.
Tell us what baking you did for the festive season. Did you dig out any buried recipes to shake up the old traditions?