It's about that time to start making Christmas cake so that it has time mature for the festive season.
I have written about this so many times over the years:
In 2008 I shared cakes from before the Home Baked blog ever existed, when I was over on Myspace, and made a disastrous attempt at royal icing as part of my 101 things in 1001 days.
In 2009 I wrote about enjoying the process even if we end up feeding it to the birds (and gave a long explanation for my Christmas obsession!). That year we got creative with sugar syrup and edible glitter.
2010 was low key.
In 2011 I went for a gingerbread man theme inspired by Pinterest.
My own recipe for a smaller and lighter, yet still quite traditional, Christmas cake was published over on the Groupon blog when I was a regular there. I love this recipe, it's absolutely fool-proof and has never let me down or given me reason to look for reasons to change anything other than the decorations.
This year I wanted to do something completely different. Although I always try to do something new each year, my cake is usually baked in the same tin and so has a samey-ness about it, however it is decorated. I was all ready to go with a square tin when I remembered this...
I wrote about this last year - my incredibly lucky find of a vintage house-shaped cake tin! My immediate thought was how fabulous it would be to decorate our Christmas cake like a festive gingerbread house and so I went ahead and baked my usual recipe in the vintage tin (lined this time!). The mixture didn't quite fill the tin but it still looks house-shaped so I'm not too worried and the shape will be enhanced when it's covered with marzipan anyway.
I'm super excited about decorating the gingerbread house cake when the time comes - I can just imagine a pretty little cake amongst our usual cheer - but for now it's enjoying a rest and a weekly feed of brandy.
Do you make your own Christmas cake? What ideas are you thinking about incorporating this year?