As a young parent, the first time I decided to make a Christmas cake, I got stuck when it came time to line the Christmas cake tin.
All the recipe said was "line the tin", no more info than that, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
"Hmm, maybe I could just not bother with lining", I thought. "No!" the people of Twitter told me, "No, no, no! It needs to slow cook. Without lining it'll burn."
A quick call to my mum (you're never too old to call your mum for help) and she arrived to show us what to do.
Many years later, I still use her method every Christmas. So, here it is, a super-detailed, idiot's guide to lining a Christmas cake tin.
What you'll need
- Baking paper
- Brown paper
- String (non-plastic)
- A medium loose-bottomed cake tin
- Butter (to grease)
- Pen / pencil
How to line a Christmas cake tin
Make the inner lining - base
Pop out the base of the cake tin. Place the cake tin base on top of the baking paper and draw around it twice.
Cut out both circles and set aside.
Make the inner lining - sides
Wrap the string around the outside of the tin to measure its circumference.
Add 5 cm (2 inches) and cut.
Use the string to measure out a length of baking paper.
Fold the paper along its length so that you have a double thickness strip.
On the long folded edge, fold again to create a 2cm (3/4 inch) lip.
Make diagonal snips all the way along the lip at 2.5cm (1 inch) intervals.
Fit the inner lining
Put the base back in the tin and grease the inside of the tin thoroughly
Push the baking paper strip in to cover the sides - the snipped edges should overlap on the base.
Put the baking paper circles into the base so that the inside is completely lined.
Fit the brown paper
Use the string to measure a strip of brown paper.
Trim the strip height to match the height on the baking paper in your tin.
Wrap the brown paper around the outside of the tin.
Fix with a length of string, tied tightly.
Cover the top
Fill the cake tin with the cake mix.
Cut a square of baking paper slightly larger than the tin and fold it into quarters. Snip the folded corner at a 45 degree angle, about 1cm (1/4 inch) in.
Open up the paper and you should have a diamond-shaped hole in the centre. Place the square of paper on top just before it goes in the oven
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