Today I'm getting all my ingredients together for baking our Christmas cake next weekend :)
As I mentioned in a previous post Christmas in July, we have a new tradition in our little Danish-Scottish family of baking this cake around the school's autumn holiday. Things are still fairly quiet in mid-October and it's a bit like a 'starter pistol' for me to really start looking forward to Christmas.
The plan is to bake this cake next weekend - 17/18 October. Please join in if you can! And then we'll 'feed' the cake every week up to Christmas. I usually do it on WHB day (Mondays).
•450 g mincemeat from a jar (1lb)
•225 g wholemeal flour (80z)
•3 level teaspoons baking powder
•150 g dark brown sugar (5 oz)
•150 g butter or margarine (5 oz)
•175 g mixed dried fruit, chopped into small pieces (6 oz) [I use whatever I have handy - normally prunes, raisins, apricots, cranberries]
•50 g walnuts (2 oz) [yuck, don't like nuts in cakes, so I don't use them ;) ]
•grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon [I don't always bother]
Pour into a 20 cm (8 inch) round or square cake tin. Make sure the base and sides are lined with paper, because it's going to be cooking for a looooong time.
Put into the oven gas mark 4, 325 fahrenheit, 170 celcius. Check it after 1½ hours. If it is firm and springy in the middle and doesn't leave a mark when you press it, it's done. Otherwise give it a bit longer (can take up to 2 hrs in all). Depends on your mincemeat, what fruit you're using etc.
Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack. Don't bother taking off the paper.
I then wrap mine in tinfoil, put it in a plastic box and feed it once a week. As I said above, I do it as part of my WHB each Monday morning up to Christmas.
Feeding it involves poking it several times with a skewer, then drizzling with a couple of tablespoons of Drambuie (Scottish whisky liqueur). Or cognac, Grand Marnier, brandy - whatever you happen to have to hand (can't really be tasted in the final cake, mainly gives a richness to the fruit).
Please leave a comment below if you are going to join me next weekend, 17 October 2009 :) I'll be tweeting as I make the cake on twitter.
And for more Christmas planning inspiration, don't forget to go check out Krista, Candace and Pippa :)
Happy planning and see you next week!