The Culture show Christmas cake off!

4th December 2012

The Arts and Culture show are hosting a Christmas special at Lakeside Arts centre this Saturday. In preparation, Jonny and Genie wanted to make a Christmas cake to get into the Christmas spirit and we employed the help of The University of Nottingham’s cake society! Charley from cake soc spent a morning with us and talked us through the baking- because we really do need the help! Jonny and Genie decided to make this a competition and see who could make the best Christmas cake…

The cake dream team

Here’s the recipe we used:
3 oz of
3 ½ oz of plain flour
½ tablespoon of mixed spice
Mixed fruit
3 oz of brown sugar
½ tablespoon of black treacle
2 eggs
1 oz ground almonds
1 tablespoon of brandy

After we had lined our tins with parchment Charley told us the first thing to do was soak mixed fruit in brandy to get the taste of christmas. Jonny decided he would use the alcohol he had around the house though and chose Jeager instead. The pinnacle of student baking!

An interesting addition to the cake recipe

We then started making the cake by mixing butter and sugar. While Genie powered through mixing the ingredients by hand Jonny tried a shortcut and stuck his in the microwave.

Things went a bit wrong and the cake resembled an omelette but we then needed to add treacle to the mixture which proved quite difficult.

The troublesome treacle

We now added all our soaked fruit to the finished cake mix. The cakes were very fruity at this point and Charley told us to add mixed spice to the mix to make it especially Christmassy. The recipe said half a teaspoon but Genie and Jonny wanted their cake to smell even more Christmassy so added most of the jar… Who needs recipes?!

Once all the ingredients were mixed together and resembled a usual cake mixture we stuck them in the oven and hoped for the best. While the cakes cooked in the oven and we waited to see whose turned out the best Charley told us about the history of the Christmas cake. You can hear this on Saturday’s culture show Christmas special. Then after an hour and a half of cooking we took out the cakes.

Jonny takes our cakes out ready for decorating

Now it was time for icing to be made to make these cakes look extra Christmassy. Charley had an interesting test to see if the icing was the right consistency.

charley testing if the icing is done

Follow The Culture show’s twitter account URNCulture on Saturday to see the finished cakes and all the pictures from the day! And Tune in to URN, Live from Lakeside at 2 on Saturday to hear which cake will be judged the best. Why not come down to our Christmas special and try Jonny or Genie’s cake yourself?

Join us for the Arts and culture Christmas special live from lakeside with musical performances and Christmas readings. From 2pm on Saturday.