Winter holidays in Europe and the US can not do without sweet baking, and the famous cupcake has long been a symbol of Christmas in England. Oliver Cromwell never managed to eradicate the tradition of baking cupcakes on the eve of Christmas. Over time, every country has its own festive sweets, but the English cake is considered the most delicious dessert!
- 1 Interesting facts about the Christmas cake
- 2 How to cook a cupcake at home: we prepare the filling
- 3 How to make a dough for a Christmas cake
- 4 Subtlety of the correct baking
- 5 Secrets of cooking Christmas cakes at home
- 6 Cupcake decoration is an art
- 7 English "fast" Christmas cake: step-by-step recipe
- 8 Mandarin Christmas Cake
Interesting facts about the Christmas cake
English housewives once started to prepare Christmas buns a month and a half before the holiday, and there is an explanation for this. The fact is that some ingredients for making a cake - dried apricots, prunes, raisins, dates, cherries, pieces of pineapple - are aged in rum, cognac, sherry or madera with the addition of spices about a week. In this case, you need to periodically stir fruits and berries for their uniform impregnation. If you follow the technology of making cupcakes, you should take 0.5 glasses of alcohol for 0.5 kg of dried fruit.
Then the Christmas dough from eggs, sugar, butter and flour was mixed, and the filling was added. This cupcake was even baked for several hours at a low temperature, after which it was covered with glaze, decorating with nuts and marzipan. While the cupcake stood and "waited" for Christmas, it became more delicious, softer and more fragrant, while baking for a long time did not deteriorate because of the alcohol content in it.
How to cook a cupcake at home: we prepare the filling
Modern housewives do not stand the dried fruits in alcohol for so long and do not bake the cake for four hours. Recipes of Christmas cakes are simplified for our convenience, so they require less time, which, fortunately, does not affect their taste at all. So, take 500 g of any dried fruits and dried berries, rinse them well, remove pits and cut into small pieces together with fried nuts and candied fruits. Fold all the ingredients in a jar, add spices and pour half a glass of any strong alcohol - you can take a liqueur or tincture. It is better to insist on dried fruits a week, shaking occasionally, but if there is no time, mix the alcohol with a very hot tea and pour the fruit overnight. Thanks to boiling water the ingredients are soaked instantly, becoming incredibly soft, juicy, fragrant and spicy.
How to make a dough for a Christmas cake
Making cupcakes at home only seems difficult, in fact they are prepared quickly, because the test does not need to go up and stay a long time. Whisk the soft butter with sugar until the foam, add the eggs, and then the flour mixed with soda or baking powder. In some recipes for New Year cakes, it is recommended to use only yolks, and replace some of the flour with almond flour. There are recipes where the eggs are beaten with sugar to the state of the cream, and the butter is mixed with a part of the flour, then both mixtures are combined and the dough is mixed with the remaining flour. It is important that the eggs are at room temperature, although some mistresses generally do without them. Sometimes confectioners take molasses, honey or dark sugar instead of white sugar, flavoring the cake with nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, lemon or orange peel.
Subtlety of the correct baking
Form for the cake you must first prepare - oil the bottom and walls with oil, then put it with baking paper, while serious confectioners fasten the joints with a stapler. The paper should protrude beyond the edges of the mold so that the cupcake can be easily removed - of course, after it has cooled.
Since the dough for the Christmas cake is very heavy and damp, bake it at a low temperature so that it is well baked, and the dried fruits are not burnt. With a mold height of 5-7 cm, the oven needs 1-3 hours, so the approximate time can be calculated based on the size of the mold, periodically testing the cupcake for readiness with a wooden stick. The availability time also depends on the density of the dough and the quality of the products. If the top is well browned and the cake is not baked, cover it with foil and continue baking.
Never take the Christmas cupcake out of the form in a hot form - it should cool down well. It is advisable at this time to cover it with foil on top. Cooling down, the cake will thicken and become more elastic, you will only have to wrap it in several layers of baking paper, and wrap it on top with foil. Then the baking can "ripen" to Christmas itself from 1 to 4 weeks, and store it in this form, you can six months at room temperature and a year in the refrigerator, periodically pouring alcohol. With each month, it becomes more tender and tasty, spreading around the house an incomparable fragrance, reminiscent of Christmas ...
Secrets of cooking Christmas cakes at home
If you want the Christmas baking to last longer than stale, add a little honey, jam and molasses to the dough, even if they are not in the recipe: they keep moisture in the cupcake and are a kind of preservative.
There is another secret, thanks to which pieces of filling that turned out from the outside, do not burn in the oven, and the cupcake will turn out to be smooth and beautiful - it will be nicer to decorate. After mixing (before the introduction of dried fruits), separate a little dough and smear it in the form, making the bottom and the sides. Next, stir the filling into the remaining dough, put it into the mold, and on top a little dip with the batter without the filling, so that the nuts and dried fruits of the upper layer are not burnt. By the way, many housewives use high tin cookie boxes for baking - they are ideal for a cake. Put the dough in the mold, make a small groove in the middle, otherwise during baking, the cupcake will rise up the hill and it will be difficult to decorate.
If you decide to leave the cake for several months for long-term storage in paper and foil, water it every three days with alcohol, which acts as a preservative. At the same time, alcohol will evaporate actively, so the taste of baking does not change, but to make the cupcake soaked completely, you need to make holes in it with a wooden skewer and pour brandy into them.
Cupcake decoration is an art
How can I serve a Christmas cake without jewelry? In Christmas, everything should be spectacular and unusual, so the English housewives turn baking into a work of art, decorating a cupcake with figures of mastic. It is possible to do easier - sprinkle the fruitcake with powdered sugar or cover with usual sweets.
Very beautiful is a cupcake with a protein glaze, for which one cooled protein is beaten well by a mixer to a lush foam, and then a 0.5-1 glass of sugar powder is added to it, whilst continuing to beat. When the glaze thickens, pour in it 1 tsp. lemon juice and whisk for another half a minute. If you cover a layer of jam with a delicate protein glaze and immediately decorate the cake with powder for cakes, it will turn out to be original and incredibly tasty.
English "fast" Christmas cake: step-by-step recipe
This simple recipe will please the busy housewives, who did not have time to take care of the preparation of the cake the month before Christmas. Pour 200 g of washed and dried raisins 4 tsp. brandy for half an hour. Separately, combine 100 g of roasted peanuts, 500 g of any candied fruits and 30 ml of lemon juice. Knead the dough from 200 g of soft butter, 200 g of brown sugar and 4 eggs, adding a pinch of lemon zest and 200 g of flour. After the mass becomes uniform, enter in it raisins, nuts, candied fruits and 1 tbsp. l. ground ginger. Cover the form with baking paper, lay out the dough and bake the cake for an hour at a temperature of 180 ° C. After cooling, sprinkle the cake with the remaining nuts and sugar powder and serve at the Christmas table with tea or coffee.
Mandarin Christmas Cake
Dry the wedges of three tangerines in the air for an hour, and then fry them in a frying pan with a little 1 tsp. sugar and 20 g of butter. Pour 150 g of dried fruits and candied fruit 2 tbsp. l. orange liqueur for about an hour - you can take dried cranberries, raisins, prunes, dried apricots. After this, lightly dry the dried fruits in a frying pan until all the liquor is evaporated.
Whip 150 g butter and 125 grams of sugar into a homogeneous cream, and then stir one egg at a time, whilst continuing to beat. Add 150 grams of flour, sifted with 1 tsp. baking powder, and knead thick dough. Put the dough in the form layers, between which lay out the fragrant tangerine lobules. Bake the cake for a little over an hour at a temperature of 170 ° C, and then cover the cooled cake with protein whipped with sugar powder. Christmas cake can be decorated with mandarin slices and spruce twigs.
Well-soaked Christmas baked goods can be stored for years. They say that the oldest cupcake in the world was baked in 1878 in the USA. It is still inherited, remaining unusually fresh and soft. You can easily bake any cupcakes, and recipes and master classes for their preparation can be found on our website. English Christmas cake can not be bought in a store, it can become a specialty of your family, the recipe of which you will pass on to your children and grandchildren ...