Christmas is fast approaching, the time when we can indulge in delicious food without feeling guilty.
With a wide variety of desserts already making their way onto supermarket shelves, there is something for everyone.
However, not everyone will be heading to the shops to pick up their delicious treats – some will try their hand at baking their own Christmas cakes.
But when should I start cooking it? How to feed it, decorate it and keep it? We hear you ask. Well, never fear, because we have the answers.
When to start baking a Christmas cake
With Christmas just over six weeks away, the best time to start baking your Christmas cake is now.
According BBC good foodthey can be made up to three months before the big day, giving you plenty of time to let the cake mature and nourish it.
You can bake your cake closer to Christmas, it will just have less spiciness because you’ll have less time to feed it with brandy or sherry, advises Morrison.
It’s time to put away your Christmas cake once you’ve finished baking it and given it time to cool.
The cake should be tightly wrapped in layers of parchment paper and then aluminum foil, before storing in an airtight container.
It should be stored away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry place.
Your Christmas cake needs nourishment if you want to give it more flavor. No one wants to eat a dry, boring dessert.
Good Housekeeping advises: “To feed a Christmas cake, after a few weeks of maturing, unwrap the cake and use a cocktail stick to poke small holes in the cake, then drizzle evenly over a dollop of your chosen alcohol.
“Re-wrap the cake and repeat the process once a week to two weeks.”
Traditionally, Christmas cakes are covered with marzipan and royal icing. You can buy it pre-made at the supermarket or make it yourself.
After you top your cake with marzipan and frosting, the fun part begins.
You can get creative with your decorating, but if you lack inspiration, popular designs include snowmen, holly, stars or reindeer. These can be molded from leftover frosting and can even be colored with drops of food coloring. Enjoy!