Christmas Cake 2011

Merry Christmas, dear Readers!  [she said, drinking a cuppa and wiping crumbs from her mouth]

I decided that Today was The Day to cut into the Christmas cake…

Who cares if the icing turned out a garing shade of turquoise a bit darker than it was supposed to?

Yikes, a little smidgen of those colouring pastes really does go a long way…! ;D

Who cares that the white icing got bits of cake crumbs mixed in to it? 

Who cares that the blue icicles wouldn’t stand up straight, as I had planned, or stick on to the sides of the cake?

It looks pretty good from a distance.  Or by candlelight… ;D

And I had an ‘aha’ moment.  I don’t need to wait until we have special guests coming in order to cut it.  I can take a slice (or two) today.  And linger over the very best part – the thick layers of marcipan and white icing!  Yum!  ;D

Bon appetit!

Have a terrific Tuesday! 🙂

PS: It’s not too late to make your own Christmas cake.  The recipe we use is right here – and it can be made one day before it’s eaten 🙂

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Christmas Cake

Ciao!  We’re baaaaaaack from a mini-week in Rome (it was the Danish schools’ autumn break) and – as is the tradition in our family – baked our Christmas cake yesterday – woo hoo!  Yes, yes, it seems early but – hey – Christmas is just eight weeks away and this little baby needs to be fed every week with whisky…or similar (Christmas) spirits! ;D

I’m reposting the recipe from last year (and, if you’re interested, here are pictures of us in the kitchen back in 2010).

So check the list of ingredients, check your cupboards 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.

DD9 stirring and making a wish yesterday

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 gave it a stir.  DH gave it a stir.  DS11 gave it a good stir and finally we were able to put The Cake 2011 in the tin…

And here it is…all ready for the oven!  And the CD in the picture?  We listened to “Ella (Fitzgerald) Wishes You a Swinging Christmas” while we made the cake…two bars of that CD and I’m seeing snowflakes!

Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow, when I’ll be kicking off this year’s “Christmas Planning Countdown”…

Have a marvelous Monday! 🙂


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! 😀