I'm on holiday as of today, but before I log off and concentrate on packing the Small Girl, my best apron, Delia and Nigella into a suitcase so we can then hop on a very small plane in about, oh, an hour, I wanted to show you my Christmas cake...
As much as I love marzipan I don't really enjoy royal icing, so this kind of glazed topping is much more my kind of thing. Doing it really reminded me of my mum, who used to get me to do it when I was a teenager, claiming I could be more 'artistic'. In hindsight, I think she was just trying to keep me busy, but I fell for it every time. A few days ago a friend was bemoaning the fact that her mother still kept the Christmas cake for her to ice on Christmas Eve and I felt an infinite sense of loss.
Glazed Christmas Cake Topping
The advantage of a glazed topping is that you can do it in about five minutes, then run outside on the wet grass in your socks to take a photo. Delia devotes pages to this sort of thing, but really, there's nothing to it.
Just melt together some apricot jam or marmalade with some brandy or rum - say two parts jam to one part brandy/rum (about 4Tbsp jam and 2Tbsp booze should do it). Brush the surface of the cake with the sticky mixture, then arrange fruit and/or nuts of your choice on top. Brush with more of the sticky goo to keep them all glued on and leave to set. Keep somewhere cool until you unveil it.
Thank you all for your friendship, stories, comments, cooking advice and recipes this year - this might be my vanity project but I couldn't do it without you. I wish you a very merry and safe Christmas.
I'll be back next week to tell you all about cooking the first turkey my in-laws have EVER had for Christmas dinner (that's why Delia and Nigella are coming with me). Wish me luck!