Christmas Cake disaster!!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by flossy, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. flossy

    flossy

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    Hi, I have just recently made my Christmake cake - using a recipe that has not failed me in the past and is yummy but it turned out a disaster!! It just didn't seem to cook even after cooking it for much longer than the time allocated. Now I have just recently found out that some fruits - mainly sultanas - are pre-soaked in oil to plump them up so I believe that this has caused the disaster. Does anyone have any remedies or possible alternatives I could use this really gooey cake for????

    :smiles: VVV disappointed - Need help :look:
     
  2. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Fruits are normally pre-soaked in alcohol to plump them up - I've never heard of the use of oil in this process.... but it's certainly different :look:

    If the mixture is cooked (just not dried out) then how about crumbling the drier portions of cake and making Christmas Cake ice-cream?
     
  3. flossy

    flossy

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    I believe it's the mainstream producers of the fruits do it to plump them up a little for sale - I should have bought organic (this is in Australia - not sure what they do in the US). Once I purchased them I did soak them for about a week in alcohol prior to cooking. Thanks for the advice :smiles::smiles::smiles:
     
  4. chris.lawrence

    chris.lawrence

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    Break apart, re-bake until crispier, cool and add to a caramel icecream (like the above person said), it'll taste like a rich burnt brownie (gorgeous!)

    Start again:

    Perhaps if you could let us know what you did, processes, recipe (although you said you've had no probs with it before) and oven temps, we could perhaps give you clearer advice.
    However somethings to think about are:

    Oven temps- aim for 350-375degF or 175-190degC, get an oven thermometer to check your thermostat is not lying to you. Perhaps your oven was too low.

    Cake tin, colour and shape; bright tins reduce internal temp of cakes by reflecting radiant heat- dark tins get hotter, cook faster and can burn, by absorbing radiant hear, a dull tin or glass tin will give you a much more efficient and even cook... if your tin is bright, increase your oven temp.
    Also shape, is it too deep to cook evenly?

    The recipe of course is important, but a little oil in your mix won't prevent it from cooking. Without more information on the problem and process I would guess that the problem seems to be your cooking temp. Invest in an oven thermometer... its so so so important when baking.
     
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    Ishbel - We can't get raisins here, only sultanas, which are not as good (to my taste) are paler, and don;t have that much taste. I think they also must need some treatment because they always have some kind of oil on them - including (get this) vaseline!!!

    So they need to be washed and all. I try to bring california raisins back every time i go to the uk, and otherwise buy organic raisins here or check that at least they have oil and not vaseline.

    But i never noticed this made any difference in the baked goods i make, including english christmas cake. I suppose if there is a lot of oil and there are a lot of raisins it could be.

    But, Flossy, could it have possibly been some mistake in the quantities or forgetting an ingredient or maybe the oven not working right?
    I've actually distractedly made something i've made a million times and realized i forgot the flour (a sachertorte - didn't come out that bad actually!) (I bet that's how they made the original flourless chocolate cake) and another time doubling something - butter or something.

    I wonder, if it;s really gooey, if you could crumble it up and make a cake with it - just redo the cake using this as the fruit. It;s a lot of fruit and the main expense of a christmas cake, after all. I have a recipe that calls for pureeing half the fruits, and it comes out wonderful.

    p.s. editing because chris.lawrence's post came up as i was writing. i may have repeated some things here.
     
  6. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Apart from incorporating it into ice-cream - the cooked parts could be used as the basis of a Tipsy Laird (Scotland's answer to English trifle).

    Flossy - I wouldn't have a clue about how raisins etc are sold in the USA - I'm based in the UK!:roll:

    Just to really rub it in, though.... mine are doing great - I've fed them twice a week since I made them on Stir Up Sunday - and I'll be marzipan-ing and icing them this weekend!:lol:
     
  7. flossy

    flossy

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    I guess I could have made a mistake in the cooking times - though once I found that it wasn't cooked properly (I took it from the cake pan upturning it onto a wire wrack before I found this out) I then very carefully put it back into the cake tin and cooked it some more - I did this about 3 times - it probably got at least another hour of cooking if not more!!!! I was very careful about the ingredients so I don't think that was the problem. My oven is usually pretty reliable - fan forced and hot but I work around that. Oh well, I'll try some of all your ideas to use it as more of a pudding.

    Thanks everyone :roll::roll:
     
  8. fl italian

    fl italian

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    Must be the season for this stuff... I spent 6 hours on Saturday baking cookies and it seems like all my doughs gave me fits and I never have issues. The doughs drove me nuts and they didn't come out as pretty but they are the best tasting batches I've ever done!!
     
  9. flossy

    flossy

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    Thanks all for your suggestions. Now onto my fruit mince pies - whoops, shouldn't have said that, now there will be problem with them too!!!! I'm sure they will be ok - they are usually really yummy - a major pain to make because the pastry is sooooo short and really hard to roll out and shape but their worth it in the end - just got to pick a day to make them when I'm feeling very cool, calm and collected!!

    Cheers to all - Happy Christmas (& happy eating!!!)
    :peace::roll::thumb:
     
  10. ishbel

    ishbel

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    BAKED loads of mincepies yesterday for the carol singers that will be trudging round the streets in the next few evenings - this year I used orange and clementine zest in the pastry. The sample one that I FORCED myself (!) to try was great!
     
  11. flossy

    flossy

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    I'd like to share my mince pie recipe with you all - I may have failed with my Christmas cake this year but this mince pie recipe is just scrummy (they are best warm but still yummy cold):
    Pastry - 1/2 cup almond meal, 2cups plain flour, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 200g chilled butter, 1 egg yolk & 1/4 cup water beaten together - the usual procedure making the pastry adding the egg yolk mixture at end to blend all together then refridgerate.
    Filling - 200g mixed fruit (of your choice), 2 tbsp golden syrup, 1 tsp grated lemon rind, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1/4 cup brandy - put all in saucepan & simmer about 5 mins then cool.
    The pastry is really hard to roll out as it is so short - I usually press the bottom piece in and just roll some out for the top. I use little mini muffin pans and bake at 180c for 15 mins
    Happy cooking!! & Happy Christmas!!
    :chef::chef::chef: