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Rum For Easy Action Christmas Cake

Asked by RJAdams. Answered on 9th November 2018

Full question

Does the Easy-Action Christmas cake need feeding if I make it a month in advance? Also is the cake still alcoholic after baking? I only ask because I don't drink alcohol, and don't particularly want my Christmas cake to contain any, only the flavour. I have heard you can use tea or orange/apple juice instead, but I'm concerned it won't taste as good, or keep as well.

Easy-Action Christmas Cake
Photo by James Merrell
Easy-Action Christmas Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Easy-Action Christmas Cake (from FEAST) is a boil and bake style of cake where the dried fruits are simmered with the rum, butter, chestnut puree, sugar and orange juice and zest. This softens the fruits and is quicker than leaving them to macerate in alcohol, which usually takes a few days. Feeding the cake with alcohol is a matter of personal preference, but it is not strictly necessary for this cake.

With this method most of the alcohol will evaporate while the fruit mixture is simmering, plus some will evaporate during baking. So the baked cake will only contain traces of alcohol. However if you need to avoid alcohol completely then it may be better to use orange juice instead of the rum. If you use orange juice then the cake should keep for about 4 weeks if wrapped in a double layer of baking parchment (parchment paper) and a layer of foil and left in a cool place. If you are unsure then the un-iced cake can also be frozen for up to 1 year tightly wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and a layer of foil. Thaw overnight in a cool place before decorating.

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