No time to bake this Christmas?

baublesIt’s too late to bake a Christmas Cake, and let it mature, really too late to make a Christmas Pud, there is of course still plenty of time for mince pies and sausages rolls, but if you fancy a bit of something special without the hassle of baking, I have taken these recipes for no bake cakes for a test drive, and have been absolutely thrilled with the results!

Delia Online

No Bake Mini Christmas Cakes

Let’s start off with the best, its Queen Delia Smith of all things culinary, and her absolutely delicious – No-bake Mini Christmas Cakes, and they really are delicious and very easy to make, the ingredient list is Christmassy and easily obtainable (I suspect any supermarket (or other) brand of luxury fruit mix will do!).   The only thing you really do need for these cakes is a food processor, I think you would struggle and find it a rather huge task, to chop all the ingredients by hand! (I luckily do have a food processor – it’s rather old and shabby looking, and once belonged to my mother, but it does the job!)

Throw the ingredients all in, whilst glugging sherry and muttering Jingle Bells somewhat manically under your breath (perhaps that is just me!), whack on the food processor, remove all the ingredients when you realise the blades wont turn, remove the lid, reposition the blades, place all the ingredients back in, turn the lid to close, switch on the food processor, realise the lid is not engaged properly, and try again, decide that actually it is the whole food processor bowl, so remove that and place it on a slightly different angle and again try the lid, drink more sherry, realise you don’t like sherry and are only drinking it because the pinot grigo wasn’t cool enough when you started to make these ‘super easy’ little cakes.  Get the now cool enough wine from the fridge and pour a large glass.  Wonder if its the plug that isn’t working (even though its the one you normally use to boil the kettle), drink wine as you remove all the large jars in front of the only other plug in the kitchen, plug in the food processor, reposition the lid and shake vigorously in an attempt to get it to work.  Notice that the blades still seem wonky inside, so again remove all the ingredients from the bowl, remove the lid and then ram the blade down, forcing it into place, this time pack all the ingredients into the bowl so they ‘support’ the blade.  Drink more wine, place the lid on the food processor in the manner a bomb disposal expert may go about diffusing, and with a heart beating to the tune of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ turn on the f**ing food processor again for the 10th time.  Offer up a few Rudolphs in thanks as the machine finally starts up!   Place the food processor at the back of the cupboard again and attempt to forget it exists.

Next comes a site I use now and again –

No Bake Christmas Cake

This recipe actually takes a while to make and calls for two days in the fridge to set – however mine was well and truly set in less than a day!  Taking on a bit more of a traditional fridge cake feel, this no bake Christmas cake does require you to venture near to the cooker, as you have to bring evaporated milk and marshmallow to the boil – this is what sets to hold it al together.  The recipe does again call for a food processor, but as its just to crush digestive biscuits, I simply employed my standard cheesecake base – bag and rolling pin – technique.  You can if you wish cover this cake with chocolate for extra indulgence.  I didn’t, but if I make again I most definitely will!

The use of candied peel, nuts and fruit does make this cake seem rather festive, but it would be yummy anytime!  A definite one to make again and again!

Chocolate Fridge Cake!

This recipe from the BBC food site (not BBC Good Food! – try and keep up) – by Annabel Karmel the kiddie cook extraordinaire – is one I have made over and over and although it isn’t strictly a Christmas recipe, it is lovely love and every time comes out perfectly.   If you want to Christmas it up,you could always add some candied peel and dried cranberries etc

So so easy to make, and very very rich this indulgent fridge cake will always be a winner, it feeds lots of people because it really is incredibly rich and chocolately.

Although I loved Delia’s cakes above (despite my food processor woes), I think this Fridge Cake is all round winner, for ease of making and yummyiness of tasting!

Good Housekeeping

Refrigerator Cake

If the above recipe is one suited for children – this is most definitely an adult friendly version.  I love this so much, because it doesn’t taste anything like any other fridge cake you will have tried, the addition of brandy, ginger and dark chocolate mean its an adult indulgence, and actually perfect for Christmas.  This recipe from those super folks at good housekeeping follows the standard fridge cake format, and again I bashed up my digestive biscuits, rather than use the food processor, and if you are not a drinker or don’t want to buy brandy just for making a cake with, I suspect a fruit juice like a apple would work pretty ok – (I would steer clear of orange juice). 

I love this fridge cake for Christmas, as it is special enough to be festive and celebratory!

So don’t despair if you haven’t yet made anything for Christmas but are having pangs which make you feel your kitchen should be like an episode of Bake Off then these no bake recipes will give you a cooking fix without the hours in the oven!