Rich boozy fruit cakes are the traditional cake around Christmas time and over the years I have made huge numbers for sale at charity Christmas fairs and to friends and family. All the proceeds have gone to one or more local charities, though I think only my friends appreciate the cost of ingredients and man hours devoted to finishing the sugar pasted cake.
Santa on the left is the first of 2012 as a friend had to take it to the north of England tomorrow. He actually looks as if he is drunk inhaling the brandy soak fruit in the cake.
The fruit cake recipe will follow in another instalment but I put my own spin on Mich Turner at the Little Venice Cake Company LVCC. When you have a wheel why reinvent it is my motto- Mich's fruit cake IS the wheel!
The thickest layer of good quality marzipan – I much prefer Renshaw to the ones commonly sold on UK supermarket shelves, but I guess it's a matter of taste and personal preference. I used to make my own but there is more to life when you are preparing more than a couple of cakes. As for what I have found in the US, well aghhhh! So that's one thing that's in my suitcase when I'm Arizona bound.
Sugar paste is a truly wonderful product and again I have used Renshaw in the past, but squires have just released their own product so I am going to trial that. I couldn't not give LVCC a plug though, because her products are top drawer, though you'll have to search for them, and there is a price premium- my head is saying 'you get what you pay for' while typing this up. You could do worse than blind taste them all with your family!
Santa was completed using red and sugar fondant icing, white royal icing piped on top of a white fondant beard. I inserted dowels to keep the arms and head in place, but decided to rest his head on a marzipan log as the cake was to travel on and off planes! Looking at the log under his head, I felt it needed a green leaf or two, so that it wouldn't be mistaken for anything else!!
I have found these individual cakes to sell well at Christmas fayres. There is almost as much work in making one of these as there is in a standard 8” though, so leave enough time if you decide to give them a go.
If they are for cake sales keeping it simple with a pretty ribbon can be just as effective.
Florists cellophane pretties things up and is less expensive than boxes where you are wrapping a lot.