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Christmas cake is a tradition that [dates / dating] back centuries, for people who celebrate the festive season. The [vast / past] majority of those who enjoy a slice of their favourite seasonal [threat / treat] are unaware that there is a science [behind / beyond] its slicing. Dr Chris Budd, a professor of [apply / applied] mathematics and geometry at two UK universities, tested several [hypotheses / hypothesis] on the optimal way to cut a Christmas cake into slices. He focused on how to [digest / dissect] the cake while leaving the exposed insides as [moist / moisture] as possible. His solution was to cut the cake across the middle, leaving two semicircles, then cut slices and push the [remaining / remainder] halves together. He said: "It works." However, perhaps he would admit that it isn't [exactly / exact] rocket science.

According to Wikipedia, Christmas cake is an English [traditional / tradition] that began as plum porridge. The plums later [take / gave] way to raisins, sultanas, orange rind and other [drying / dried] fruit. The fruit is often soaked in rum or brandy. It is quite [commonly / common] for the fruity loaf part of the cake to be covered in a layer [on / of] marzipan, and then the top and sides to be coated in icing. The icing is a [hardy / hardened] , white sugar coating that can be over a centimetre thick. The top of the cake is [usual / usually] decorated with an array of Christmassy [symbols / symbolic] like fir trees or snowmen and women. Christmas cakes [vary / very] around the world. In Sri Lanka, they are full of treacle and spices. In Japan, they are simple sponge cakes with [whipped / whooped] cream and strawberries.

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