Mrs Beeton Would Not Approve

The Christmas cake is finally decorated and although I made the cake  myself I decided against home made marzipan and Royal icing. Time is precious and there have been too many  other things to do so I used ready-made varieties instead (at least this way knives won’t be damaged cutting through the cake this year!).

Iced Christmas Cake

The tradition of eating dried fruit and spices go back to the middle ages where it was custom for a cake to be baked for 12th night celebrations. But due to too much Pagan merriment this celebration was banned during Puritan times although fruit puddings remained popular at Christmas. We can thank Queen Victoria for the cake’s revival (as well as many other christmas traditions) and the popularity of the fruit cake recipe by Mrs Beeton.
I had visions of me dropping the cake out of the tin and it breaking into a hundred pieces. You see, I’m clumsy. Not just “oops a daisy, steady on!” clumsy but the whole “Ronald MacDonald feet, custard pie in the mush!” clumsy!! I regularly trip over fresh air, accidently drop most things that I shouldn’t and if the situation arose I could NEVER be trusted to cut the correct wire on a ticking bomb!

Christmas Cake 1

1. Amazingly the cake survived… probably due to the alcohol fumes allowing it levitate out of the tin!
2. Apricot jam was warmed and spread over the cake to allow the marzipan to stick.
3. The marzipan was thinly rolled out and lifted onto the cake. This layer was then gently moistened with boiling water and a thin layer of fondant icing was added.

Christmas Cake 2

4. Goodness knows where picture 4 went LOL (Mrs Beeton probably had something to do with it as I can hear her spinning her grave as I type!). Such a shame as No.4 was amazing 😉 and showed the excess icing and marzipan being trimmed off the cake.
5. A cookie cutter star was used to punch out the decorations.
6. The stars were stuck onto the cake with a little more boiling water.
7. A ribbon was tied around the cake and the whole thing was put onto the lid of a cake tin with the actual tin used as the lid. I reminded my husband not to turn it around the other way in his quest to look for biscuits!

You’re welcome to pop round for a cup of tea (or something stronger) and a slice of cake. In fact I insist that you go home with some… and here is the first glimpse of the magic at Christmas. No matter how many slices of Christmas cake are cut, the cake seems to last forever!

39 thoughts on “Mrs Beeton Would Not Approve

  1. What a hoot you are PJ, that made me laugh so hard…especially the ‘trip on air’ thing. Both Alys and I have confessed to be extremely accident prone. I just scared the daylights out of Mr B as we arrived in San Diego…whilst rolling my luggage along the sidewalk, the wheels stuck in a grate and the luggage stopped dead….unfortunately, I did not. Next thing I know, I’m flying over my suitcase, my laptop is flung under the bus along with my carry-on and I landed hard on my bum and elbow at a strangers feet. I think someone actually screamed. Needless to say, I survived with my dignity in shreds and a giant bruise. We would be like the three stooges; you, the lovely Alys and myself. LOL
    I only hope your hubby remembers not to flip the tin, your cake turned out fantastic…kettles on you say? Be right there. x

    • Oh no! I’ve had many trips like the one you described so I share your embarrassment. I went roller skating once (you know that this will end badly!) and we were all skating around clockwise when I lost my balance and started to look like an arm-wielding maniac so I desperately tried to grab hold of the nearest object to steady myself… and this happened to be an unknown male. Unfortunately, I just ended up pushing him instead and he went FLYING across the floor, crashed into a door which flung open and he ended up in the fire escape!!! My husband thought it was hysterical, I was mortified and my skates have been well and truly hung up.

      • Oh man PJ, that’s out-of-control…LOL. An arm-wielding maniac…I can really see funny. Good Lord, he must’ve been quite surprised to find himself on the fire escape. Well hey, better him than you, giggle. I hope he gets a christmas card every year LOL.

      • He was a complete stranger and we didn’t hang around to make friends… he didn’t look like the friendly type and my husband’s laughter would have negated any apology coming from me!

      • :D..oh dear, not friendly? In my fantasy world, all British men are the ‘Daniel Craig’ type, dashing & witty..I’m crushed. Well, your hubby sounds like a gas and he must be a good sport to go roller skating.

    • PJ, “trip on air” had me going too. Laughing and laughing away. We are three peas in a pod. My mom would say “Alys can trip over a Kleenex.” I love the look of that amazing cake. The stars are perfect. I’m also giggling over the “missing” picture #4. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

      I love that you added your kitties to your banner. Very sweet.

      • I really do trip over nothing and always have Alys! If I enrolled in clown school I’d graduate with honours and they would name future clowns after me!! Maybe the three of us could set up an international finishing school for clowns?
        I was determined not to post about the kittens again… so went back and put them in the banner! LOL! I’m obsessed with them 🙂

      • LOL LOL LOL! You are full of fun, funny and clever ideas.

        Finishing school for clowns. Brilliant!

        I love reading about and seeing your kitties, and I’ll be your other readers do, too. Please…don’t hold back =^..^=

      • The wardrobe all had me pausing, rewinding, drooling. The episode last night was hosted by Angela Lansbury, I adore her and miss her so much. She’s aged but still is so gorgeous. I guess some people have watched it on the web? I need to do some homework so I can catch up. I heard Michelle O got a preview of season 3…now that’s a good perk. 🙂

      • I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of Downton and couldn’t warm to the characters. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood! I prefer period drama set in the Victorian era or earlier. Have you seen Cranford or Lark Rise to Candleford?

      • I’m a newbie to D.A. but want to see what all the hype is about. I’ve not seen any of your programs mentioned or heard them advertised. Is it BBC? We are getting Downton Abbey on PBS (Public Broadcast Service). Lark Rise…I love the title…is it a family…love story? The hubby loves Dexter and Breaking Bad….sometimes they’re too dark for my tastes.

  2. It looks wonderful! I never used to like Christmas cake, but my tastes have changed over the years, and I think this one might convince me! Shame about picture 4…. perhaps it’ll turn up in June! 😀

    • I really like to have a little slice with a strong cup of tea. It’s funny how our tastes change though isn’t it? In Yorkshire they eat fruit cake with a slice of cheese… although I haven’t personally tried this combination yet. LOL keep your eyes peeled for a photo of an iced cake in the middle of a Summer display of cosmos and marigolds!! 🙂

  3. I’m let off from Christmas Cake making as it wouldn’t survive it’s turn in The Beast (aga) so Mum makes ours. I wholeheartedly empathise with your clumsiness. Everything has been flying out if my hands this week. Not just falling, literally flying, like up in the air! It’s been quite spectacular but strangely there have been no breakages!!!

  4. That is a lovely looking Christmas cake, PJ.
    I am not really into fruit cakes myself, not being British and grown up with this tradition, but we have our own, similar Christmas cake made with lots of honey, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and chopped nuts. It is a much lighter cake, without any alcohol. When I bake it, the whole house smells Christmas for days! It has a cover of marzipan just like the British Christmas cake, but no fondant, and is decorated with marzipan figures. I haven’t made it this year, perhaps I will 🙂

    • That sounds delicious Helene – I love hearing about traditions from other countries. The marzipan figures would be lovely and I can imagine how gorgeous the house smells x

    • That’s very kind of you Elaine – but I should point out the thumb print in the fondant! I’ll put the kettle on……….. you can have the slice without the thumb print in 🙂

  5. I’m finding it impossible to stay on top of the things I want to do! I’m hoping in 2013 I’ll be much more organized and can read blog posts as they are posted … and not weeks later! I always enjoy your posts PJ Girl 🙂

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