Help W/ Christmas Cake Ingredients

Decorating By allie73 Updated 29 Oct 2007 , 10:45pm by allie73

allie73 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 3:31pm
post #1 of 8

My finace isn't going home to England this year, so I am attempting to make him a Christmas cake so he can at least have a taste of home. But, I am having a hard time figuring out what some things are. Can anyone help?

First, what is mixed peel? The recipe calls for grated lemon and orange zest as well, but mixed peel? Help! I need a lot of it!

Second, what is mixed spice? The recipe calls for cinnamon and cloves, too, but also "mixed spice." Is this allspice?

And, is "ready to roll icing" fondant?

I need to get this made within the next week or two so it can "rest" for the requisite amount of time. Thanks a bunch if you can help me figure this out. icon_smile.gif

7 replies
KHalstead Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 4:46pm
post #2 of 8

I would definitely think ready to roll icing would be fondant or marzipan for sure

here is what I found on the net;
this is a ? submitted by someone

QUESTION;
I am making mince pies from scratch and come across the ingredient mixed peel. I have been unable to locate it in stores so figured I'd make that from scratch also. Any ideas on how to make it? Thank you

ANSWER;
Mixed peel is candied lemon and lime peel......it can also be any citrus peels, like orange and grapefruit too.


mixed spice;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_spice#_note-Frazer

http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/mixedspice.html

seems to me to be almost a pumpkin pie spice sort of thing........these things are common in England evidentally!

AnotherBrit Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 4:59pm
post #3 of 8

I will try and help you.

Was trying to think of a way to describe Mixed spice - easiest way is to Google "mixed spice" and read the Wikipedia comments.

British Christmas cakes are heavy fruit cakes. These, like you say, are made some weeks ahead of time and then left to improve. Many people will, each week or so, prick holes in the cake and pour a tot of brandy over so it soaks into the cake keeping it moist and lovely. You only ice the cake near Christmas, once the cake has "matured" with all the brandy. British people brush the cake first with a layer of Apricot jam/jelly and then a thin layer of marzipan. On top of this goes the Fondant. Sometimes they use Royal Icing but usually fondant. Then decorate as desired.

I hope this helps you.

Good luck!

AnotherBrit Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 5:03pm
post #4 of 8

I forgot to say in my last little piece that if you shop online in a British shop, you may find candied peel.

Hope that helps!

allie73 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 10:01pm
post #5 of 8

Thank you so much. I've had Christmas cake before and I liked it, and he recommended using Nigella's recipe, so...that's the one I am using. I hadn't planned to ice it w/ the marzipan and fondant until close to Christmas so I can baste it w/ brandy a few times, but her recipe calls for rindless orange marmalade to brush it with. Do you think it would be better with apricot? I want it to be nice. Thanks again!

AnotherBrit Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 10:18pm
post #6 of 8

I've always done it with apricot jam but the marmalade would be tart and not so sweet. If you can find the marmalade, I'm sure it would be lovely as all Nigella's recipes are divine!

I'm glad you like Christmas cake - not Americans I've spoken to even like the idea of it and am sure they wouldn't be brave enough to try. Same with mince pies!

Have fun and I hope it goes well. Would love to see pics of the finished article.

doughdough Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 10:30pm
post #7 of 8

My DH is from New Zealand so I know exactly what you're going through! I try and make at least a couple of "old country" desserts at Christmas so he doesn't feel left out of the tradition.

I find that when I don't know exactly something is, it's usually OK to sub something similar...it will give a little bit of an American twist! An a quick e-mail to my MIL never hurts either when I'm completely stumped!

allie73 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 10:45pm
post #8 of 8

Thanks again! And I like mince pies as well. The problem is that most Americans associate fruit cake with the nasty things that are mass-produced at Christmastime, and mince pies with the horrible bottled stuff - they've never had good fruit cake or mince pies. I am making one of Alton Brown's fruit cakes this weekend and, after it sits for awhile, I'm going to sample it. It sounds wonderful, and if it passes the test, our wedding cake will be trad English - a fruit cake, marzipan and all.

As for mince, his mom doctors the bottled mince she gets at Sainsbury's or Marks and then makes little bite-sized tarts out of them and serves them w/ fresh cream. They are lovely. I forgot to buy a bottle when we were there a few months ago so...no mince pies this year. icon_sad.gif

And I agree w/ you on Nigella - all her recipes are delish! If you haven't tried her Clementine cake, you really should. I know it sounds weird to use the peels and all, but that cake is wonderful - and gluten free!

Thanks again - I'll post the finished products when I'm all set!

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