(There’s no photo to accompany this post, as I ate the evidence. It closely resembled the version in the Guardian blog post I refer to below)
It’s sometimes said that the perfect human face resembles the average of every person in the world. Sometimes I think a similar idea can apply to food. In recent weeks, when researching some of the things I’ve baked, I’ve been surprised at the range of opinions out there. A lot of recipes include a ‘twist’ that can be as much gimmick as innovation.
It’s no surprise then that I’m a big fan of Felicity Cloake’s ‘Perfect’ posts on The Guardian’s ‘Word of Mouth’ blog. Each week she takes a popular dish and tries recipes from a range of sources, finishing with her ‘perfect’ version.
Her Christmas Cake post experiments with dark and light sugars, compares soaking the fruit in rum, brandy and whisky, and tries Nigella Lawson’s suggestion of adding chestnut purée.
The quantities given are for a 20cm cake tin, whereas mine was 22.5cm in diameter. That ends up being a 25% greater area, so it was actually quite easy to scale everything up by that amount – for instance, using 5 eggs instead of 4. Still, the final cake was quite a lot shallower than I’m used to, so I’d consider increasing the quantities further.
Her final recipe produces a cake that is light, fruity and spicy, and I’ll use it again next year.