Has anyone actually had a christmas cake that's... Page 1 / 2

smileeah, Nov 28, 9:19am
gone moldy within a few weeks? If so what were the circumstances? Just wondering because I got my cake out yesterday to sprinkle brandy over and noticed there is a patch or two that looks really soft and mushy. It must be a piece of the fruit just under the surface but I'm wondering if I should be worried. I've got it wrapped in lunchwrap paper then newpaper and it's in a box in my pantry. I didn't want to put it in tupperware after reading a couple of comments on here but now I'm thinking maybe I should. And maybe lunchwrap isn't a good idea. Any thoughts?


nzhel, Nov 28, 9:56am
Must say I've always worried about storing a christmas cake for a while too esp not having any particularly cool places to keep it apart from the fridge, and we are having very warm temperatures lately. The last few years I've usually made it at Labour weekend, let it cool, sprinkled it with alcohol, then wrapped it well and kept it in the freezer. It seems to mature really well and is usually beautiful and of course no mould worries. I do the same with the christmas pudding. Can you investigate further to see if the soft part is just some fruit - which hopefully it is. Or did it require longer cooking maybe? I'd carefully cut it out to check and replace if all ok, then store cake in the fridge or freezer. Fingers crossed for you!

smileeah, Nov 28, 8:10pm
Thanks. I might open it again today and investigate further. I'm pretty sure I cooked it long enough so I'm not sure what is going on.

valentino, Nov 28, 8:25pm
If it has gone Mouldy, then perhaps a little too late to fix it.

The first golden rule re baking Christmas cake is too ensure it is baked, one normally test this with a skewer method. Cooking times can vary from one oven to another and also temperatures plays a big part, plus some form of insulation whilst baking helps with the overall evenness of actual cake baking.

So if mould exists, suggest to restart and put it down to experience.

Best method of storing ( especially if done within a month or so of required time ), is to wrap cake in baking paper, then foil, then in a nice clean cake or big biscuit tin stored in a very coolest place possible.

If in freezer, then a wrap further with plastic wrap is okay, one never uses plastic containers or tupperware containers for this.

If in a fridge, then one needs to be aware that cake can sweat hence the possibility of mould especially using plastic wrap, best to use something that allows a little bit of air circulation within even though one has used paper then foil to wrap.

Alcohol of the spirits or a liqueur sort is best added immediately upon the cooling of cake from the oven (normally tip the cake upside down and put over bottom of cake) and repeated if recipe calls for it or is a preference that one has used before.

But the main thing, ensure that the cake is baked evenly !!! When cooked properly, the cake will last.

valentino, Nov 28, 8:51pm
Oh, one more thought, I had never used the fridge for storing a Fruit Cake prior to icing or before it is being used and then it would mainly be because of icing.

Having noted that, once a cake has been cut and portions taken then sometimes the fridge can be ideal especially if the days are hot or very warm and ones wishes to have a non-warmed cake.

But once again, be wary of sweating as the fridge does gives that extra moisture that can lessen the life of a very good cake.

One recipe that one uses quite often is great kept in the fridge whereas another which is very rich is best not kept in the fridge so can come down to what recipe one uses.

Possibly, if a recipe is quite moist then the fridge is better once used for keeping, if a recipe is not quite moist and usually more of a traditional recipe then storing whilst in use in a good dry cool airy place is best.

Hopes this helps and is understandable.

Cheers.

smileeah, Nov 28, 11:41pm
Yes, thank you very much. I have had another look and it is definitely some of the fruit close to the surface that is extra soft. It seems to be the large raisins that are doing this and I'm wondering if it is from the brandy being poured over it. I have changed the paper and poured more brandy over the base this time instead of the top and will check again in a day or two. The rest of the cake seems fine so I won't panic just yet.
I would dearly love to be able to sample the cake to make sure it is nice and moist but it is intended as a gift so that wouldn't be a good idea really. :)

valentino, Nov 29, 12:23am
Hmmm, if still very soft, one way of firming top is to put back into oven, preheated to the desired heat plus a wee bit more, raise the rack to about half-way up in oven then put cake in for say 15 to 20 minutes only to heat the top of cake and thinking of alcohol already there, perhaps turn the oven to a much lower heat or off whilst cake is in oven. And perhaps put extra insulation under cake (presumably cake is back in it's tin).

Of course, a very watchful eye must be enforced to keep all within (not to overdo or crisp the top ) say every 5 to 8 minutes or so.

Hmmm, perhaps continue what you are doing but do try a "sliver" sample, (it will ease one's mind), one can fill a wee part by icing if okay or firm up as noted in this post above.
Cheers.

trah, Nov 29, 1:00am
Valentino - why didn't I think of turning the cake upside down to do the alcohol thing?!Much more "absorbent" on the cake bottom, than on the top!Thank you!

cookessentials, Nov 29, 1:07am
I cant say I have ever had that problem. I soak the fruit for a day or so in the alcohol and brush a HOT cake with alcohol when it comes from the oven. I do not add any more alcohol to a cold cake. I wrap well in baking paper,then tinfoil and a clean tea-towel and store in a cool dark place.

smileeah, Nov 29, 1:45am
When people say 'greaseproof' do they mean waxed paper? And when you say 'baking paper' do you mean the silicon non stick paper? I have used the unwaxed lunchwrap, is that ok?

valentino, Nov 29, 1:59am
Basically Baking paper is specially prepared for baking items on or in, does not need to be greased but most times is advisable.

Lunch paper unwaxed is similar texture but does need to be greased as baking paper has that little extra in it.

I prefer to stay away from waxed paper for obvious reasons.

Hopes this helps.

valentino, Nov 29, 2:01am
Like the use of a clean tea-towel, helps in keeping cake nice and the towel takes the moisture if any that is in the air.

fifie, Nov 29, 2:39am
Every xmas cake recipe is different. Have never had any problems i lift cake from the tin paper and all, then wrap it up completely in a clean towel and sit it in a cool dark place till its ready to be iced. Made all my wedding cakes like this and they were always nice and moist. What i did find out was never put it in plastic container or a plastic bag as it will sweat with the humidity therefore go mouldy in summer time.

chicco2, Nov 29, 4:20am
If (poster one) is really worried, you can cut a little piece of cake from the centre of the top, by using a sharp knife and slicing down and cutting a little round or wedge. Although it leaves a small hole you can fill it with a piece of fondant or almond. I like the idea of putting it back in the oven. I dont think adding extra liquid in the form of alcohol will do much except make the cake wet.

smileeah, Nov 28, 9:19am
gone moldy within a few weeks! If so what were the circumstances! Just wondering because I got my cake out yesterday to sprinkle brandy over and noticed there is a patch or two that looks really soft and mushy. It must be a piece of the fruit just under the surface but I'm wondering if I should be worried. I've got it wrapped in lunchwrap paper then newpaper and it's in a box in my pantry. I didn't want to put it in tupperware after reading a couple of comments on here but now I'm thinking maybe I should. And maybe lunchwrap isn't a good idea. Any thoughts!

nzhel, Nov 28, 9:56am
Must say I've always worried about storing a christmas cake for a while too esp not having any particularly cool places to keep it apart from the fridge, and we are having very warm temperatures lately. The last few years I've usually made it at Labour weekend, let it cool, sprinkled it with alcohol, then wrapped it well and kept it in the freezer. It seems to mature really well and is usually beautiful and of course no mould worries. I do the same with the christmas pudding. Can you investigate further to see if the soft part is just some fruit - which hopefully it is. Or did it require longer cooking maybe! I'd carefully cut it out to check and replace if all ok, then store cake in the fridge or freezer. Fingers crossed for you!

smileeah, Nov 28, 8:10pm
Thanks. I might open it again today and investigate further. I'm pretty sure I cooked it long enough so I'm not sure what is going on.

valentino, Nov 28, 8:25pm
If it has gone Mouldy, then perhaps a little too late to fix it.

The first golden rule re baking Christmas cake is too ensure it is baked, one normally test this with a skewer method. Cooking times can vary from one oven to another and also temperatures plays a big part, plus some form of insulation whilst baking helps with the overall evenness of actual cake baking.

So if mould exists, suggest to restart and put it down to experience.

Best method of storing ( especially if done within a month or so of required time ), is to wrap cake in baking paper, then foil, then in a nice clean cake or big biscuit tin stored in a very coolest place possible.

If in freezer, then a wrap further with plastic wrap is okay, one never uses plastic containers or tupperware containers for this.

If in a fridge, then one needs to be aware that cake can sweat hence the possibility of mould especially using plastic wrap, best to use something that allows a little bit of air circulation within even though one has used paper then foil to wrap.

Alcohol of the spirits or a liqueur sort is best added immediately upon the cooling of cake from the oven (normally tip the cake upside down and put over bottom of cake) and repeated if recipe calls for it or is a preference that one has used before.

But the main thing, ensure that the cake is baked evenly ! When cooked properly, the cake will last.

smileeah, Nov 28, 11:41pm
Yes, thank you very much. I have had another look and it is definitely some of the fruit close to the surface that is extra soft. It seems to be the large raisins that are doing this and I'm wondering if it is from the brandy being poured over it. I have changed the paper and poured more brandy over the base this time instead of the top and will check again in a day or two. The rest of the cake seems fine so I won't panic just yet.
I would dearly love to be able to sample the cake to make sure it is nice and moist but it is intended as a gift so that wouldn't be a good idea really. :)

valentino, Nov 29, 12:23am
Hmmm, if still very soft, one way of firming top is to put back into oven, preheated to the desired heat plus a wee bit more, raise the rack to about half-way up in oven then put cake in for say 15 to 20 minutes only to heat the top of cake and thinking of alcohol already there, perhaps turn the oven to a much lower heat or off whilst cake is in oven (not too blow the oven or cake). And perhaps put extra insulation under cake (presumably cake is back in it's tin).

Of course, a very watchful eye must be enforced to keep all within (not to overdo or crisp the top ) say every 5 to 8 minutes or so.

Hmmm, perhaps continue what you are doing but do try a "sliver" sample, (it will ease one's mind), one can fill a wee part by icing if okay or firm up as noted in this post above.
Cheers.

trah, Nov 29, 1:00am
Valentino - why didn't I think of turning the cake upside down to do the alcohol thing!!Much more "absorbent" on the cake bottom, than on the top!Thank you!

smileeah, Nov 29, 1:45am
When people say 'greaseproof' do they mean waxed paper! And when you say 'baking paper' do you mean the silicon non stick paper! I have used the unwaxed lunchwrap, is that ok!

bev00, Nov 29, 10:28am
good tips = worth a look

gardie, Nov 29, 4:55pm
I also put on my alcohol (sprinkle over) as soon as the cake comes out of the oven then once cold, wrap the whole lot up and store in the fridge.Agree that popping alcohol on when cold would just make the cake wet.When I first started baking Christmas cakes, we lived in Townsville and it was a given that the fridge was the best storage place.Since then, I've just done it as a matter of course - old habits die hard.This year, I've also popped one in the freezer wrapped in gladwrap and then put inside a tupperware container.Not sure what the fuss is about cakes in tupperware - I've done it for years.(I do remove them to defrost though).

marywea, Nov 29, 6:43pm
I have been told that the Alison Holst onethat uses crushed pineapple is ikely to go mouldy.

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