Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Christmas cake and a day in the garden

Hello dear friends,
I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

The weeks just keep flying by so fast and I am one of those that truly likes to savour each and every minute.

I am loving the Spring sunshine we had in the weekend, nothing like some beautiful weather to bring us outdoors. It was an amazing opportunity to work out in the garden.
DH pruned the olive trees and I watered some of the plants that were looking dry. Today I am grateful that we have a shower of rain.

I baked these Christmas cakes, one with blanched almonds and I will probably ice the other with Royal almond icing ... the smell wafting through the house really was so good when they were baking.
With a traditional cake making, you gather family and friends for the fabled stirring of the cake and then you take a wish. As I was home alone my arm got a workout mixing all the ingredients together in a big bowl. with a wooden spoon  ... then I made a wish!
This old family recipe is really simple and actually quite fun to make - I like recipes that look like you have gone to a lot of trouble.
I will share the recipe with you. 

Traditional Christmas Cake

400g sultanas
400g raisins
200 g currants
150g Glace Cherries
150g candied peel
1/2 cup brandy or sherry
225g butter
1 & 1/2 cups of brown sugar firmly packed
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond essence
1/4 teaspoon lemon essence
2 tablespoons marmalade
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon mixed spices
1/4 teaspoon  cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
70g whole blanched almonds (optional)
extra brandy

Place dried fruit in a large bowl and mix well.
Pour in the brandy, stir, cover and stand overnight.
Prepare a 20cm round cake tin. Line with two thickness of brown paper and one of baking paper.
(This helps prevent a hard crust forming on the cake.)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add orange rind, essences and marmalade.
Drop eggs in one at a time, beating well with each addition. If mixture starts to curdle add a little of the flour. Fold in the prepared fruits alternately with the sifted dry ingredients. Mix well.
Spoon into the prepared tin smooth over the top with a wet hand. If baked cake is to be left free of icing, whole blanched almonds may be placed over the unbaked cake at this stage.
Bake 150o C for 21/2 -3 hours.
Remove cake from oven, brush with extra brandy and cool.Wrap in foil and store in a cool place.
Preparation time 3 - 31/2 hours.

Wishing you a beautiful week

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for visiting Draffin Bears.
It always makes me happy to read your comments
and I look forward to visiting you.

Carolyn xx