Saturday, 23 October 2010

Get your pinnies on - it's time to bake a Christmas cake!

I've just spent a lovely week at home with the kids (they've had a week's holiday from school, the autumn break) and we've basically been enjoying just lazing around and sleeping in late every morning - small pleasures!

We also decided a couple of years ago to make a new tradition for the autumn holiday week. Baking our Christmas cake. Tomorrow - Sunday - is the day. Would you like to join in? Then get your pinnies on, check the list of ingredients and get ready to go stir crazy...
  • 450 g mincemeat from a jar (1 lb)
  • 225 g wholemeal flour (8 oz)
  • 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
* * * * * *

HERE ARE THE MIXING/BAKING INSTRUCTIONS

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 a preheated oven at gas mark 4, or 325 f. Or if you're here in Europe, 170 c. 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 (an integral part of my Flylady 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).

Just make sure that whatever you use is fairly alcoholic. Because the 'proof' of the cake is in the eating... boom boom!

* * * * * *

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures. In the meantime, have a simply super Saturday! :D

4 comments:

Sassy Jen said...

Our family is baking on Sunday too! Haven't figured out which beverage is going to be added, but that's O.K. because we have all your suggestions in the cabinet. Also, we'll be making booze-filled cupcakes this week for the adult Halloween treats. Gotta make it worth while for the grown-ups!

DIANE, DENMARK said...

Fantastic, Jen! I will think of you when we are stirring tomorrow... :D

Boozed-filled cupcakes? Never tried those before...but they sound just like my cup of tea, tee hee!

babsindk said...

Who is your mincemeat supplier? *narrows eyes* Vi have vays of making you talk!

I usually make my own mincemeat and it is a really long process the way I do it. It's probably not cheaper than buying it and shipping it. I forgot about a vat of it I'd made once only to find it a couple of years later at the bag of our mammoth sized fridge. WOW! It had become the most amazing stuff, out of this world. I am not sure how much of a health risk it was but I suppose the booze preserved it.

DIANE, DENMARK said...

Gosh, Babs, I think I'd rather have your homemade mincemeat rather than the shop-bought stuff, health risks can be so much fun! ;D

I bought my stuff from an Aladin's cave by the name of 'Holger Frederiksens' in Ordrup (http://holger-frederiksen.dk).

But maybe you can get it online from http://foodfromhome.dk or http://nks.dk ?

Where are you? If you're in a pinch, let me know and I can send you some! :)