Taste test: We tried seven supermarket Christmas cakes for 2017 - which was best?
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Charlotte Smith-Jarvis and Chris and Hayley Lee of The Bildeston Crown sampled seven supermarket Christmas cakes for 2017 - but which was best?
We all agreed. The crumbs of a proper Christmas cake should stick to the knife when you cut into it. The fruit should be plump and sweet. And there should be touches of spice, citrus and a whack of brandy.
A reasonable layer of marzipan and icing is a must too. So, which came out tops?
Co-operative Shimmering Christmas Cake
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This reminded Hayley of her mum's fruit cake. It was more like any everyday, plain fruit cake you'd have at home with a cuppa. There was a whiff of Bakewell tart about it and the sponge was too light in colour, it needed more molasses.
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M&S 6 Month Matured Royal Iced Christmas Cake
It looked gorgeously homemade this one, with its swirly, crunchy royal iced top. But it really needed more depth to it. The overall flavour was of the marzipan and icing and not the cake inside.
Asda Extra Special Christmas Cake
This one was sticky with plenty of fruit and nuts but it didn't have any hint of booze and was a little bit dull. Good for the price though.
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference 12 Month Matured Christmas Cake
A pretty cake with a traditional flavour but, again, this didn't give over much of the booze listed on the label. It did, though, have a decent amount of fruit and nuts, including plenty of cherries. And it had a light citrusy aftertaste.
Aldi Specially Selected Brandy Infused Christmas Cake
This was a really very decent cake that had been sloshed with brandy and pleased us all with its deliciously squidgy texture. We could easily have gone back for another slice.
Waitrose Jewelled Fruit and Nut Christmas Cake
A little showstopper, with a halo of natural dyed cherries, apricots, figs and pistachio nuts on top.
This one was a good all-rounder and not as sweet as most of the others (it had less icing). There was plenty of spice, which was the overriding flavour. A slug of brandy would have seen it rated higher.
Deluxe Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake, Lidl
A cracker of a cake from Lidl. We all thought it was tops, and Chris said he'd happily sit by the fire munching on this with a glass of mulled wine. There was plenty of fruit, a very well judged layer of spice and you could smell and taste the intriguing notes of the oak aged brandy, Lovely.