Christmas Cake: The Proof Of The Pudding Is In The Eating. My Greek Christmas Part IV

The Rabbit's Christmas Party.  The Meal Beatrix Potter
The Rabbit's Christmas Party.
The Meal
Beatrix Potter
If you have been following my Christmas cake rigmarole (Parts I, II and II, links at the end of this post), you may have already guessed, I’m eating Christmas cake, morning, noon and night.

I had some for breakfast today, and yesterday!

Why, when my family will not entertain this “Great British Christmas Tradition” did I embark on my plan of action?

Nostalgia?  I’ve been having quite a bit of that this Christmas, I’ll put it down to age!

Nostalgia  Thinking and remembering.

Thinking and remembering.

Things were going along smoothly with my Christmas cake, even though I do think it could have done with less time in the oven, I sliced off the burnt bits, (No one witnessed that), and hid everything under the marzipan, which, I must say, looked very professional.

At this point, I wasn’t too concerned about appearances.

 “Fools and children should never see work half done”


I had in mind, something simple and elegant, after spending hours on Pinterest, inspecting photos of the most splendid Christmas cakes, obviously created by master bakers; I plumped for something like this;

The Christmas cake
The Christmas cake in my mind's eye.

What was I thinking?
This amazing cake called for fondant icing, something I have never attempted.
Not being as arrogant to think I could manage this with out help, I asked around, the most popular answer being; “Make the easy recipe, with marshmallows”

Did I listen to this advice? No, I’m a purist at heart, and wanted to go by the book, until I discovered the recipe included glucose syrup. 

Bad stuff, so I hear.

 In retrospect, as likely as not, no worse than the huge amount of sugar to be used anyway.

Back to Delia Smith and her royal icing.

Nothing is ever simple is it? Now I need glycerin.

This means sending MGG (My Greek God) on an errand to the pharmacy.

MGG is so good, he never say’s no, but, he’s a man, he’s not going to produce his little scrap of paper, with “Glycerin” printed clearly in both Greek and English, to the pharmacist, is he?

And so, he asks for Vaseline.

I kept calm and sent him back, saying;

 “It’s an understandable mistake anybody can make”

Glycerin and Vaseline
Glycerin and Vaseline

It took MGG two trips to the pharmacy, but I got my glycerin!

The glycerin brought on another bout of nostalgia; I remembered my mother.

 My mother swore by glycerin and rosewater, to smooth and soften chapped hands, dare I send MGG back to the pharmacy a third time for rosewater?

I have the glycerin, surely it can't be too difficult to cook up some homemade glycerin and rosewater, I must remember to ask Mr. Google about that.

Glycerin & Rosewater
Glycerin & Rosewater

Old remedies are often the best remedies.
I swear I can smell this stuff.

I read and re-read the recipe and method for royal icing;

 Dear Delia; 

“Where did I go wrong?”

I did exactly as you told me, but this “Gloop” is never going to stand up in “Fluffy peaks”.

I’ve used up all my icing sugar and now it’s too late to send MGG for more; the shops are closed.

Fluffy royal icing.
Fluffy royal icing.

What I was aiming for, not what I achieved.

I’m disheartened, covered in a veil of dusty white icing sugar, as is the whole kitchen; I’m beginning to dislike this Christmas cake intensely.

 “Oh, just put the icing onto the cake, and hope for the best”, my daughter tells me.

The best was not good, my hopes were raised for a couple of minutes, but only until the “Gloop” collected in large pools around the base of the cake, leaving only a thin layer actually on the cake itself.

Tomorrow’s another day, everything looks better after a good night’s sleep;

 I went to bed.

Bright and early, MGG goes off for more icing sugar, whilst I trim snowy pools from around the base of the, by now, “Christmas atrocity”

Extra thick icing was quickly made, and “Fluffed up” on the top of the cake, with not an ounce of enthusiasm.

Royal icing
Royal icing

Make sure it's extra thick this time.

The sides were concealed under a shocking pink ribbon, by this time, I didn’t care that it should have been a scarlet, Christmassy red.

A Christmas tree, from some Christmas past, a sweet little deer and a dodgy looking snowman, that were more or less thrown on top of the cake, would be appreciated by my three and a half year old granddaughter, Melina.

And here it is, the fruits of my labours:

Christmas Cake
Christmas Cake

And that is all I have to say about it, It's a Christmas cake.

Christmas Cake
Christmas Cake

Not exactly what I had in mind.

Yes, I have cut it, it needed a chain saw, the icing is rock hard and brittle, so much for the glycerin, the cake, well, it's not bad, the marzipan is delicious.

Only my daughter-in-law was kind enough to try it, I don’t think it was to her taste, but she was polite about it!

I shall be eating Christmas cake until Easter; I had to make the largest size, didn’t I?

My breakfast for the next three months

In Yorkshire, the tradition is to eat Christmas cake with Wensleydale cheese,
 I substituted this for Greek graviera.

Will I have this Christmas cake  palaver next year?
I shall make my lemon drizzle cake, always a winner!

Now, what on earth shall I do with my “I’m not paying that much” top of the range Christmas cake tin?

Read about the run up to this finale at the links below:

Meraki: Greek Word of the day; Doing it with love, passion and a lot of soul;

Meraki:  Doing things with love, passion and a lot of soul. Greek ranks as the richest language in the world; Europe’s oldest, with f...

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