Is it too late to cook the Easy Action Christmas Cake for this Christmas (2013)? I fear I may have left it too late. If it is too late, what about the Gloriously Golden Cake; is it too late for that also? And can the latter be iced or is a nut 'top' the better option? Thanks
Christmas Cakes do tend to improve with age (if stored correctly), however you can still make a rich fruit cake fairly close to Christmas and it will be fine to eat. You can feed the cake as soon as it has cooled and if you want to ice it then leave it overnight to make sure that it is fully cold and then add a layer of marzipan. Let the marzipan covering stand for a day before adding any icing (this will reduce the risk of any of the nut oils from the marzipan seeping into the icing).
If it is close to Christmas then our preference would be to make eother the Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake or the Chocolate Fruit Cake (both from Christmas and on the Nigella website). Both of these cake are extremely moist, do not need "feeding" and can be eaten immediately. Nigella tends to rpefer not to ice these traditionally, but add a topping of blanched almonds for the Golden Fruit Cake, and gold stars and dragees for the Chocolate Fruit Cake. You could also add Nigella's Glossy Fruit And Nut Topping to the golden fruitcake. For details of this topping please see p.177 of Nigella's book Christmas.