Sunday, 11 October 2009

Christmas planning - 11 October 2009 - Xmas Cake bakeoff

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).

You'll need:

•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]
•3 eggs


Put everything in a large bowl. Mix with an electric hand whisk if you have one because this mixture is pretty heavy. Get everyone in the family to stir it with a big wooden spoon (just for theatrical effect) and make a wish. Naf, I know, but that has become our little Danish/Scottish family's tradition.




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!

4 comments:

C-Joy said...

Do we have a starting time?

emma said...

Hi Di, going away on that Monday so will bake Christmas cake on Saturday/Sunday before. Looking forward to it ;)) Christmas is on it's way!!

DianeDenmark said...

Great to have you on board, E and C!

Will tweet when I'm about to start... :)

Lee said...

Alfredo Recipe:
(easier to type here than in Twitter, and goes with your "recipe" tag!)

Comes from The Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (an American staple cookbook), but I've made some changes :) All measurements are in "American" because I have no idea how to convert it, or if you will need to!

8 oz. dried fettuccine
2 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I have also used Romano)
Salt to taste (will not need much if any)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter. Saute garlic, add cream and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheese. Taste and at this point, add salt if desired. Drain pasta, add to hot sauce. Toss to combine. Serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle with additional cheese.

Mmmmmm.