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The origin of x-mas cake

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th December 2007 03:00 AM

THE Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon, dried fruit, spices and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and this eventually it turned into Christmas pudding.

THE Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon, dried fruit, spices and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and this eventually it turned into Christmas pudding.

By Flavia Nakagwa

THE Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. People ate the porridge on Christmas Eve, using it to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. Soon, dried fruit, spices and honey were added to the porridge mixture, and this eventually it turned into Christmas pudding.

In the 16th Century, oatmeal was removed from the original recipe and butter, wheat flour and eggs added. These ingredients helped hold the mixture together in what resulted into a boiled plum cake.

Richer families that had ovens began making fruit cakes with marzipan, an almond sugar paste, for Easter. For Christmas, they made a similar cake using seasonal dried fruits and spices. The spices represented the exotic eastern spices brought by the ancient Wise Men. This cake became known as the “Christmas cake.”

Christmas cakes are made in many different ways, but they are variations on classic fruitcake. They can be light, dark, moist, dry, heavy, spongy, leavened or unleavened.

They are made in different shapes, with frosting, petit fours, marzipan, icing glazing, and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or plain. The cake is mainly served at Christmas in the UK, Ireland and many Commonwealth countries.

The most favourite of all is the traditional Scottish Christmas cake, also known as the Whisky Dundee. As the name implies, the cake originated in Dundee and is made with Scotch whisky. It is a light crumbly cake with currants, raisins, cherries and Scotch whisky.

Other types of Christmas cakes include an apple crème cake and a mincemeat cake.

The apple crème cake is made with apples, raisins, eggs, cream cheese and whipping cream. The mincemeat cake is made with traditional mincemeat or vegetarian mincemeat, flour and eggs. It can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.

This Christmas cake is good for people who do not like very rich and moist cakes. As with all fruitcakes, the almonds (or other nuts) can be omitted by people who don’t like them or those with severe nut allergies.

There is also the mincemeat Christmas cake, which is simply any traditional or vegetarian mincemeat, mixed with flour and eggs to transform it into a cake batter; it can also be steamed as a Christmas pudding.

Coins were occasionally added to Christmas Cakes as well as Christmas Puddings to bring good luck.
Touch Pieces includes the usual choices of silver piece, or sixpences, sometimes wrapped in grease-proof paper packages.

In Northern England, Christmas cakes, as with other fruit cakes, are often eaten with cheese, such as Wensleydale.
All Christmas cakes are made in advance. Many people start making them in November, keeping the cake upside down in an airtight container.

A small amount of brandy, sherry or whisky is poured into holes in the cake every week until Christmas. This process is called “feeding” the cake.

In Japan, the Christmas cake is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. It is simply a frosted sponge cake with whipped cream, decorated with strawberries, and usually topped with
Christmas chocolates or other seasonal fruit with strawberries.

It was used as an expression to refer to women over the age of 25 “Christmas cake,” meaning they were out of season, as the cake is after December 25. Now the age is raised to 31, linked to toshikoshi-soba, a noodle dish eaten on December 31.

In the Philippines the Christmas cake is bright rich yellow with macerated nuts or fruitcakes of the British fashion. Either way, both are soaked in copious amounts of brandy or rum mixed with simple syrup of palm sugar and water.

Traditionally, civet or ambergris musk flavouring is added, but rosewater or orange flower water is common. These liquor-laden cakes can stay fresh for many months, provided they are handled and made properly.

Because of its long shelf life, it is a very popular gift for Christmas and one cake made the previous year is sometimes saved for the next Christmas to symbolise union with “Past Christmases”, or may be consumed the following Easter.

Online Sources

Chocolate cake

Ingredients

250g White sugar
250g Margarine
8 Eggs
35g Cake Flour
35g Corn flour
7.5g Milk Powder
8g Cinnamon
8g Mixed spice
35g Cocoa powder
15mls Vanilla essence
16.5g Black Jack

Chocolate mix:
0.3g chocolate
135ml Fresh cream

Method
Break the chocolate into pieces, mix with fresh cream in a bowl and melt over boiling water while stirring till smooth.

Keep in the fridge to cool.

Put sugar and Margarine in a bowl and mix for five minutes.

Add eggs, cocoa powder, cinnamon, corn flour, milk powder, mixed spices, vanilla essence, baking powder and black jack. Mix for more five minutes.

Slowly pour in flour while mixing for 10 minutes

Line baking tray with grease proof paper and pour the mixture.

Bake in oven at 1800C for two hours.

The cake is ready if a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clear

Cut the cake into any shape you prefer and decorate with chocolate mix


The origin of x-mas cake

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