I’ve not been asked very often to bake cakes, mostly because I think I am really a terrible baker, which essentially just comes down to me being terrible at following precise measurements. I like to explore, create and bend the rules. Baking doesn’t allow for this. However, there are a few things I have been requested to bake, oatmeal raisin cookies, Christmas cake, and cranberry orange scones. I’ve now recreated two of these to be grain-free, I haven’t yet nailed the third. But these were perfected in traditional flour baking, and I knew them with precision and almost by heart. So when I decide to bake something grain-free it has to be perfect, otherwise, in my opinion it’s just not worth it!
When I think about winter, I remember riding my bike in the snow, I think about glittering lights in the streets of Belgium, I see the warm mist of my breath in the air, I long for the holiday markets in Europe where clove and orange captivate the senses, and I think about Christmas Cake, which is all much more than a cake to begin with.
The years my family spent living in Belgium were undoubtedly some of the best years of our lives. Living there had a magical simplicity to it that made time feel as though it moved at a pace where if we tried hard enough, we could almost capture it like a firefly in a mason jar. Now, feeling as though it was forever ago, so much of me holds tight to my most sacred memories of that time.
One of those fond memories being the ever-famous Christmas Cake.