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#16 hummingbird

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 00:03

Wife tells me she would use royal icing rather than fondant. I'm not sure what the difference is.

 

I've never made royal icing but I believe it's made with egg whites.  It's more "faffy" to make than fondant icing, which is much softer than royal icing.  Royal icing is traditionally used on wedding cakes, although less so these days.  It's a hard icing, but at the same time can melt in your mouth.  When I was little, we used to have Christmas cake with royal icing and marzipan, but I would probably find it too sweet now on a whole cake. 


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#17 SingingPython

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 10:54

I finally made my Christmas cakes last weekend.  A whole bottle of rum went into them .... admittedly it was 3 largeish cakes, 2/3 bottle in with the fruit to soak, some more in the mix and the rest drizzled over after cooking and the next day :)  One cake will stay home, one will be put aside for next Easter, and the third is carefully wrapped and will be travelling back to Sydney with me on the weekend as we are visiting family.  When my mother first left the UK she continued to make her family's Christmas cakes and send them back (until postage became prohibitive), so I think it's high time I brought one to her instead!  I have found official confirmation online that Christmas cake may pass through customs.

 

As a child we always had one cake iced and one cake un-iced.  As my father preferred it without, and had a birthday near Christmas, his birthday cake was fruitcake.

 

So far as I'm concerned, royal icing is compulsory :)


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#18 Banjogirl

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:35

We put candied fruit on ours. It's very pretty and less revolting than marzipan and icing. You can get every kind in the market in Leeds, but since my husband's office burnt down he's hardly been in and I have yet to acquire this year's fruit!
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#19 Misterioso

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 12:18

We put candied fruit on ours. It's very pretty and less revolting than marzipan and icing. 

 

Marzipan and icing revolting?!!!!! :o No, no, since I don't eat dried fruit this is the only part of the Christmas cake I indulge in!

Royal icing is compulsory on ours too. A touch of glycerine and a little lemon juice make it more workable and give it a pleasant tang.


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#20 ejw21

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 15:34

Ooh I like this thread! When I lived in Canada, I had to use 'mince tarts' for mince pies as 'mince pie' was too near a translation of tourtiere, which is a Quebec origin meat pie (I lived in Ottawa so on the border). Also the concept of beans on toast. Although I did once serve up Christmas pudding (a spare) to some friends who we were hosting for dinner and they loved it. Seems that it wasn't that common a dish even though puddings and mincemeat were available to buy in the supermarket. I made my own - some of the supermarket baked goods were 'variable' quality and I wasn't prepared to pay far too much for imported Mr Kipling etc from the English shop.

 

Nearer to home, well my family are Yorkshire/Derbyshire origin and my OH's family are from Eccles, but his mum is German (well, now dual national, she's lived here for decades). I distinctly remember the first time I had a pudding with custard at my in-laws years ago - first, the custard powder was not Bird's; second, it was too thin! everyone in my family makes what I think of as 'northern custard'. I soon started volunteering to make said custard so that it was the right consistency. Makes me smile to think back on this. 


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#21 chris13

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 17:05

 everyone in my family makes what I think of as 'northern custard'. 

Please tell us more about this one, ejw21. I am the custard maker in this house because it just can't be thin, or indeed too thick. Making custard with egg yolks is very nice but not convenient.


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#22 Gran'piano

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 07:49

Sorry. No custard tips here. No real custard.
No Christmas cake either but Advent Biscuits everywhere. Packets of mixed varieties in bakers' shops and in food stores generally. Ready-to-roll dough of various varieties too. But I have no idea who buys them all because any Swiss worth their salt makes their own dough, perhaps eight or nine different ones, to their very own recipes. They then make little packets of the finished articles to give to neighbours and friends, who in turn, respond by presenting little packets of their own (vastly inferior) ones. Cafés and some shops will have a little plate of goodies for customers to enjoy.
A good Swiss may have tins and tins of them in reserve (running out before Christmas would be a major disgrace) and if children are around, some will be well hidden. Often hidden so successfully that not even mother remembers where she put them. Sure enough, they come to light during the next spring cleaning.
Whether one really likes Guetzli or not, the smell of cinammon and the taste of Kirsch (in the Brunsli) are a reminder that Christmas is fast approaching and we have one day less to get ready as the Christchindli who brings the presents here arrives on Christmas Eve. Real tree, real candles and real food!
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#23 thara96

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 08:24

What kind of cake do you make for Christmas?


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#24 Gran'piano

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 08:40

I don't make cakes. Too busy practicing on the piano!
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#25 ejw21

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:20

 

 everyone in my family makes what I think of as 'northern custard'. 

Please tell us more about this one, ejw21. I am the custard maker in this house because it just can't be thin, or indeed too thick. Making custard with egg yolks is very nice but not convenient.

 

Always Bird's (I never have the time to make real-with-eggs custard). Custard powder, sugar and as little milk as possible to get a really thick paste in a bowl/jug. Milk (or soy since I've given up dairy) to quantity heated up slowly in a pan. Keep heating milk until it is about to boil over the pan, then tip quickly into the bowl/jug and stir thoroughly.  None of this putting the mixture back in the pan stuff even though that is the 'official' method. Same method for rum sauce at Christmas, except mix the paste with cornflour, sugar, rum and some nutmeg.

 

When I was a child, making custard was my Dad's job on a Sunday. About the only cooking he ever did! 


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#26 mel2

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 13:35

In my book, anybody who doesn't have cheese with their Christmas cake is an alien!

Yes, but in my Yorkshire childhood home it had to be Cheshire.
 
The port and village of Heysham near Morecambe is pronounced He-sham by the locals and Haysham by people new to the area and those passing through.
No No, it has to be Wensleydale !!  You can also have it with apple pie.


I'm sitting in the restaurant at Castle Howard and can state that they are offering nice thick slices of Wensleydale (£1 each) alongside Christmas cake on their cake counter. I know because I had to peer at it, thinking it might be some kind of white chocolate terrine.
Don't know if that makes it official, but it probably is round here.
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#27 Banjogirl

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 14:20

In my book, anybody who doesn't have cheese with their Christmas cake is an alien!

Yes, but in my Yorkshire childhood home it had to be Cheshire.

The port and village of Heysham near Morecambe is pronounced He-sham by the locals and Haysham by people new to the area and those passing through.
No No, it has to be Wensleydale !! You can also have it with apple pie.

I'm sitting in the restaurant at Castle Howard and can state that they are offering nice thick slices of Wensleydale (£1 each) alongside Christmas cake on their cake counter. I know because I had to peer at it, thinking it might be some kind of white chocolate terrine.
Don't know if that makes it official, but it probably is round here.

Castle Howard! Enough said. I refer you to my earlier 'aarghs'!
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#28 mel2

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 17:04

Really??!
After what we've spent today, I can imagine they wouldn't want people frittering their cash on charity before they enter the premises to swell the tills.

Does that make them unreliable on the subject of cheese with Christmas cake, though? Probably not. ;)
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#29 chris13

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 19:15

 

 

 everyone in my family makes what I think of as 'northern custard'. 

Please tell us more about this one, ejw21. I am the custard maker in this house because it just can't be thin, or indeed too thick. Making custard with egg yolks is very nice but not convenient.

 

Always Bird's (I never have the time to make real-with-eggs custard). Custard powder, sugar and as little milk as possible to get a really thick paste in a bowl/jug. Milk (or soy since I've given up dairy) to quantity heated up slowly in a pan. Keep heating milk until it is about to boil over the pan, then tip quickly into the bowl/jug and stir thoroughly.  None of this putting the mixture back in the pan stuff even though that is the 'official' method. Same method for rum sauce at Christmas, except mix the paste with cornflour, sugar, rum and some nutmeg.

 

When I was a child, making custard was my Dad's job on a Sunday. About the only cooking he ever did! 

 

I use Bird's powder in the same way as yourself. Mum made her rum sauce also as you describe but for many years I prefer homemade brandy butter, not that there is much difficulty making it in the first place.


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#30 Gran'piano

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 02:30

Maybe you should all try Emmentaler, Gruyerzer, Appenzeller, Tilsiter or Vacherin cheese.
Or perhaps try your hand at making a nice Süssmostcream instead of worrying about the best way to make custard.
Recipe for Süssmostcream


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