In a way, the CCC is a little limiting when it comes to Christmas - no pies, tarts, or biscuits means a lot of Central and Northern European specialities, such as Lebkuchen, gingerbread biscuits and our own mincepies can't be included. A lot of traditional Christmas baking all across Europe seems to feature yeast dough too, something which is not my forté.
The meeting was held in one of our local tea rooms, so as well as the flavours of Christmas in the cakes we had the perfumes from the teas chosen too - London Fog (vanilla and Earl Grey) was popular, and cherry and chocolate tea went down well too. I can't remember the name of the tea recommended to me, but it was robust and spicy, and stood up well to the rich flavours in the cakes.
Squidgy Lemon-Ginger Cake on the BBC Good Food site, which I've made for Christmas before. Despite containing no dry fruits or ground spices, the ingredients magically blend to give just the right seasonal flavour and perfume. The cake is moist with finely chopped dried dates, which are soaked before use, and apple and is flavoured with dark muscovado sugar, fresh ginger and lemon, as well as the natural caramelly flavour of the dates.
I decorated the cake with a glacé icing coloured pale green with sparkly food colour, tiny white snowflakes from a bought packet and some larger snowflakes cut from rolled fondant icing. I don't know what possessed me to chose green icing - I had green or gold glitter available and thought green the better option for some reason!