Last week, while watching Bev and John prepare dinner, I spotted a copy of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. I pulled it out of the bookcase and praised it, saying that we had a similar cook in Australia (Margaret Fulton) who gave easy, detailed instructions in the simple things as well as the complex. We all agreed that Delia and Margaret were saints of the kitchen.
The reason I bring this up is because I used my Delia today. It was, after all, time to make my almost annual Christmas cake.
According to Delia, the most important bit is the creaming of the butter and sugar. I therefore spent a goodly amount of time stirring. Then, of course, I had to incorporate the egg, gradually, careful not to make it all curdle.
Mirinda came out of a meeting as I was completing this first stage and said it looked beautiful. I thought it resembled a rich caramel.
Yesterday I mixed the dried fruit with a respectable quantity of brandy and left it in the coat cupboard to marinate. I added the mix above to the fruit. And, finally, after quite a bit of preparation, the mix was ready for its time in the oven.
Delia is adamant that the oven should not be opened until at least four hours have passed. Obviously, what Delia says, goes. And so, over the next four hours, the house was smelling a lot like Christmas.
Finally, the cake came out and sat for quite a while growing cold before I could pack it away in the traditional Christmas cake tin. This is an ordinary cake tin which is only used for my Christmas cake. The cake looked good and smelled perfect.
I sealed the cake tin and put it in the coat cupboard where it shall remain until it’s time to marzipan and ice it prior to Christmas Day. Of course, I shall unseal it a number of times before then in order to ‘feed’ it more brandy in order to moisten it up.
It was a good day in ChezGaz. Of course, Mirinda got to lick the bowls.