Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Cakes

My first MAJOR project of the year began in November and I was super excited (and nervous) about it for lots of reasons.  We were lucky enough to get an amazing Kitchen Aid stand mixer as a wedding present for one and I decided that Christmas Cakes would be my first adventure with it! ... Two, we are well and truly settled in to our first home together - so my own kitchen, to make my own mess in and have all to myself!  And three, Mum has graced me with her Christmas Cake recipe to try out for myself this year.  Very excited to start!

So, with almost the whole day off work (just 2 piano lessons on a Monday evening in November) I got to work!

I don't start things simply.  That sometimes backfires on me - I get mad when it goes wrong but I also am determined to do the best I can with everything so... 4 cakes.  That was where I would start with my first experiment of Christmas Cakes.  (That would be a whole lot of wasted ingredients if I failed, eek!)

Here's some of that fun Monday in November baking baking baking day in photos:
Our kitchen (looking oddly tidy!) ready to go
Making a start using the fruit that
had been soaking for a few days.

Yey glass bowl!
Ingredients all out before I started.

First batch of mixture in! 1 large, 1 small. 
2 batches later 4 cakes were born!

For the weeks afterwards my cakes were stored in a combination of tins and cake boxes getting the occasional feeding of sherry!

Christmas was happening in Canada this year... for the first-time ever away from home for Christmas :'-( but it did mean I had lots of pre-Christmas time to get everything ready without worrying about packing to leave.

So December pre-Christmas was here and it was marzipan and icing time.

Then of course I needed some ideas for the decoration.  My favourite part!  The worst thing  is trying to think of them... I need to KNOW what I'll be doing but the more I force it the longer it takes to think.  So just taking a second to pause meant that the ideas flowed and I was ready to begin.  I had found COOL 3-D cookie cutters at St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto and thought they might be just the thing.  As well as some bonus fondant icing for some chubby little snowmen!

Snowmen and 3-D cookies decorated
with writing icing and silver balls!
I love snowmen!

Decorations ready so it was time to put it all together!

Christmas can begin!  Happy Christmas everyone!

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