To me, fruit cake has always been somewhat disappointing; something that you would pick the currants from at your Grandma’s house and forlornly wonder how it could share the same descriptor as a chocolate gateaux or victoria sponge. Christmas cake however seems to be an exception to this rule. Perhaps it is my enthusiasm for the festive period, Christmas traditions, or the thick layer of marzipan and icing, but every year I resolve and then fail to bake a Christmas cake; this year things are going to be different!
From Fanny Cradock to my Mother, opinions differ as to when you should get started on said cake, but google favors two to three months before Christmas. With only seven weeks to go until the big day, it is safe to say that I am behind schedule. So whilst I dash out a hurried shopping list for glace cherries and mixed spice, I thought you might enjoy a few interesting facts about the noble Christmas cake.
Whether you a reading this smugly safe in the knowledge that your cake is maturing, have abandoned this article to run to the nearest shop, or will be fine with something pre-made at a later date, I hope that you enjoy your Christmas cake this year and that the above will provide you with some facts to delight your friends and family with as you pick out currants.