Posts Tagged rich fruit cake

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.

DSC03679

vacancies in the New Year at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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My Dad’s 90th birthday cake

This is my 100th blog, so what better way to mark this occasion than by telling you about my Dad’s 90th birthday.  We went to visit him  last week (4 hours drive away), and take him out for lunch for his special day, but also I made him a cake.  I made a lovely rich fruit cake but without nuts.

Pa’s 90th birthday cake

This is the recipe I used:-

Ingredients:

  • 175g      light muscavado sugar
  • 175g      butter softened
  • 175g      self raising flour (I used wholemeal)
  • 3      large free range eggs
  • 2      tablespoons of milk
  • 110g      sultanas
  • 110g      cherries, quartered (and dipped in some of the above flour)
  • 110g      dried apricots, snipped into small pieces
  • 110g      currants
  • 25g        raisins
  • 1      teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 2      teaspoon of ground ginger

Preparation:

    1. Heat the oven to 160C/320F/gas3
    2. grease  and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with baking parchment
    3. beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy
    4. add the eggs one at a time and beat
    5. add the milk
    6. add  the flour and all the dry fruit ingredients and fold in
    7. tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin
    8. place the cake in the oven and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours or until golden brown and a skewer or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
    9. place the cake on a cooling rack to cool before removing from the tin
    10. decorate  as required (I put marzipan and icing on mine)

This made a lovely moist fruit cake, not too heavy.  My Dad loved it and here you can see him blowing out the candles.

My Dad blowing out the candles on his cake

All my B&B guests are offered a piece of cake with a cup of tea when they arrive, so if you want to try my cake visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Easter Simnel Cake

It is traditional in the UK to have a Simnel cake at Easter.  This is a rich fruit cake covered in Marzipan and the traditional decoration for the simnel cake is eleven balls of marzipan arranged in a circle. These represent the disciples – omitting Judas.

I have also added Easter Chicks and coloured chocolate eggs to my cake.

My Easter Simnel Cake

So does this tradition exist elsewhere in the world or is it a very British thing?

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