Q: Last year my Christmas cake was too moist and soggy on the bottom. I baked it about 3 to 4 weeks in advance and followed the recipe to the letter! I was very disappointed and ended up buying one instead. Please could you let me know if there was anything I was doing wrong? Thanks very much!A: Oh dear, what a disappointment for you. I am assuming you are talking about a fruit cake and if so, a couple of reasons spring to mind. Firstly your cake might not have been baked all the way through. A fruit cake needs a long slow bake and how long will depend on your oven, it may need longer than stated in the recipe. Test by inserting a cake tester or long cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it is probably baked. The second reason could have been that you overfed it! It’s is very traditional to feed a fruit cake with brandy once it has been baked but this can be overdone, especially if you keep adding more alcohol. I was advised many years ago that the best time to feed a fruit cake is ONCE when it is still warm. I have done this ever since and it works a treat for me. If you are interested in a good fruit cake recipe that has been tried and tested, my family recipe appears in many of my cake decorating books, including my new one: http://www.lindyscakes.co.uk/shop/Lindy-Smiths-Mini-Cakes-Academy-how-to-Cake-decorating-book.html Hope you have better luck this year Happy baking LindyDo you have a question for the Cake Doctor? Send it to: [email protected] Lindy’s Website
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Foley’s charges ended a frustrating three-match losing run in Europe when scoring a bonus-point win over the reigning French champions. Munster’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions Cup had already been extinguished with their 20-point defeat to the Top 14 side at Stade Jean Bouin last week. However, today’s result helped lift some of the doom and gloom which has surrounded the Irish province who had lost six of their previous seven fixtures in all competitions. Munster, who were 12-6 ahead at the break, scored two tries in each half from Mike Sherry, Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and captain and man-of-the-match CJ Stander. Foley said afterwards: “The boys played with a lot of pride and character out there. They took their opportunities when they came. I thought there were a couple of very nice individual tries. “It was obviously disappointing last week over in Paris not to get anything out of the game and to come back here to Thomond Park and pick up five points today says a lot about the boys. “Sometimes the manner in which we played wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but they were willing to carry and willing to bring the opposition through phases. They keep turning up for one another.” Foley was also full of praise for the Munster fans for the level of support they gave to the team, even though the game was, in effect, a dead rubber for the home side. “I thought it was unbelievable support there today given the situation we were in,” he said. “I thought the fans came and took part in the game. They got in behind the boys, both fed off each other nicely today. There was a good European atmosphere out there.” Munster complete their pool programme with a tie against basement side Treviso in Italy next Sunday. Munster head coach Anthony Foley praised the ‘pride and character’ his side displayed in gaining a deserved 26-13 European Champions Cup Pool 4 victory over Stade Francais at Thomond Park. Press Association