Posts Tagged Christmas preparations

Making a Christmas cake with brandy soaked fruit.

We have a new Lidl store opened up in Chard and when I visited I noticed they sold mixed dried fruit already soaked in brandy.  I thought just the thing for a Christmas cake and set about finding a recipe.  This is what I came up with:-

Ingredients:

1020g of mixed dried fruit.  (If its not already soaked in brandy you will need to do this the night before with about 3 tablespoons full, so they soak up the brandy)

220g of plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg powder and 3/4 teaspoon of mixed spice powder

320g of dark muscovado sugar

320g of soft butter

4 free range eggs

1 tablespoon of black treacle

1 unwaxed lemon and 1 orange finely grated zest only

Marzipan to top the cake

Icing sugar and egg white to prepare royal icing for the top

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas1

lightly grease an 8 inch round cake tine and fit a greaseproof cake case or line with greaseproof paper the bottom and the sides.

Weigh and prepare all the ingredients.DSC03626

In a large bowl beat the sugar and butter together until soft

add the eggs one at a time, with a little of the flour and spices mix

add the black treacle and beat in to mix

add the grated zestDSC03627

fold in the soaked dried fruit

tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and loosely cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper.DSC03628

Bake for 3 3/4 hours or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool in the tin.

When cool, if liked, pierce the cake at intervals with a fine skewer and “feed” with a little splash of brandy.

To store  leave the lining paper on the cake and wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper and again in foil.  The cake will keep for up to 3 months like this, especially if fed at intervals with more brandy.

Alternatively, spread a layer of apricot jam over the top DSC03673

and roll out your marzipan to a circle to fit and place on the cake.  Smooth with a pallet knife, or the flat of your hand, using a circular motion.DSC03675

When dry add icing  ( I made up royal icing) and spread roughly as if snow.

DSC03676and then decorate as required.

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All ready for Christmas

Well in one week we have done all the Christmas preparations and we are now ready for Christmas.  Last Friday we put up the tree.  We like to buy a real one, a non drop one, preferably a growing one in a pot, but the only pots they had were really small trees so we bought this one and decorated it with gold and red.

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We put up two really large baubles from the beam in the lounge.

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I also hang smaller baubles above the windows.                            DSC06142

Note the Reindeer antlers on the globe lamps, they are for wearing a bit nearer the time for a bit of silliness!!

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I love to get a poinsettia at the this time of year.  They are so full of colour and you must surround yourself with red at Xmas.

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This chappie always comes out at Xmas time too.  He was given to me by a friend I used to share a flat with many  years ago, but he is my favourite Father Christmas.

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The presents are already wrapped and under the tree.

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I love having our Christmas cards displayed on the dresser and the bookcase.

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I have bought the turkey, and done all the food shopping, so now we really are ready for Christmas.

I  hope you are too.

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2014.

www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk


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