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The History Of Christmas Cakes
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The Christmas cake is basically an English tradition that started as the plum porridge. People used to eat that porridge on the auspicious Christmas Eve in order to line their stomach after having fast for a day. Very soon various spices, honey and dried fruits were added to that porridge mixture and these ingredients turned the porridge eventually into the Christmas pudding.
After that, during the 16th century, the ingredient oatmeal was taken away from the recipe and instead of that wheat flour, eggs and butter were added. These things helped a lot to hold the cake mix together and then the boiled plum cake was made. Besides, the richer families started using the ovens to make the fruit cakes with the ingredient marzipan, a paste made of almond sugar, on the eve of Easter. But for the eve of Christmas, people used to make a cake by using the spices and seasonal dried fruits. All those spices symbolized the exotic eastern spices carried by the wise men. Later this cake become popular as the Christmas cake.
These days, the Christmas cakes are created in a number of ways, but commonly these cakes are the variations on the traditional fruit cake and these variations can be dark, light, moist, heavy, dry, unleavened, spongy, leavened etc. Besides, the Christmas cakes are also created in various shapes like glazing, frosting, plain or a dusting of the confectioner’s sugar.
One popular variety of the Christmas cake is the classic Scottish Christmas cake, which is also known as the Whisky Dundee. This is basically a light crumbly cake made with ingredients like raisins, currants, Scotch whisky and cherries. Other kinds of popular Christmas cakes are the mincemeat cake and apple crème cake.
The mincemeat cake is created with the ingredients like vegetarian mincemeat or traditional mincemeat, eggs, flour etc. These ingredients can also be steamed to make Christmas pudding. On the other hand, the apple crème cakes are made with the ingredients like apples and some other fruits, eggs, raisins, whipping cream and cream cheese.
The Japanese make the Christmas cakes as the frosted sponge cakes and then decorate the cakes with chocolates, strawberries and seasonal fruits. On the contrary, in the Philippines, the Christmas cake is basically a yellow pound cake or the conventional British fruit cake made with the orange flower water or rose water and then decorated with the nuts. Therefore, these cakes are soaked in rum or brandy and in water and palm sugar syrup.
According to the trends, the Chirstmas cakes are made in advance and mostly people make these cakes in November and therefore preserve the cake by keeping it upside down within an airtight container. Besides, little amount of sherry, brandy or whisky is poured into the tiny holes made in the cake on every week until Christmas. This method is known as “feeding” the cake.
Nowadays, different flavors and varieties of cake mixes and ready Christmas cakes are available in the high quality stores for all those people who don’t have the patience or time to prepare cakes at home.
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