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
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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!

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