Summer may have only just come to an end, but now is the perfect time to start the preparations for the epitome of Christmas treats – a rich, boozy fruit cake. Whatever your preference, be it a heavenly mix of dark, heady spices or a zingy, citrus tang, one crucial element remains the same. However you choose to embrace the ‘spirit’ of Christmas, whether you prefer a sweet rum or a strong whiskey, that satisfying little kick is the perfect antidote to a hectic festive season.
You may think we’ve gone mad here at Homemaker HQ thinking so far ahead (96 days to be precise!), but the best bakers know that the perfect fruit cake takes months of careful preparation to achieve the succulent texture and mouth-watering aroma that Christmas dreams are made of. It’s not a difficult bake, but it does require the love and attention that one may pay to a beloved garden plant or pet.
Once your cake is baked, (we love this recipe from the BBC Good Food website) wrap it tightly in a layer of greaseproof paper, then store in an airtight tin on a layer of foil. Every week, take it out of its special hiding place and feed it. We’re not talking a three-course meal, just top it up with whatever tipple you have chosen to flavour it with. A couple of spoonfuls should do nicely.
Come Christmas day, presents will be hastily disregarded to leave hands free to grab a piece of this moist, flavoursome dessert. Just make sure to save some for yourself…
(Psst! For another fabulous fruitcake recipe and top tips on perfect decorations, make sure to get issue one of Homemaker!)