Last month I treated myself to a copy of Good Housekeeping magazine and in it was a new recipe for Christmas Cake.
The recipe looked lovely and, as its been a good few years since I have made one I decided to give it a go.
To be fair, in the past I have only ever made my Grandma Harriet’s Christmas Cake and this recipe was quite different to that…
… Dried figs, prunes and apricots as well as the usual sultanas and raisins were all soaked for 3 days in orange juice and a nut liqueur before adding to the spiced cake mixture today… it smelled amazing:-
It might be the last time I use my late Mum’s mixing bowl, however, as I noticed a crack in it. Well it is over 50 years old!
The recipe called for a larger cake tin than I own, so rather than go out and buy another I decided to put any left over mixture in a loaf tin. But there was still some mixture left, so after filling my house with the lovely smell of baking for four hours while the larger cakes cooked I then poured the last of the mix into the loaf tin and cooked that too
The result was amazing and I now have three cakes to cover with almond paste and icing. The two smaller ones will make nice presents for people I think!!!
Well this has been the first time I have made this but it will not be the last – it’s delicious and, as promised, here is the recipe:
6 Large lemons
1 750ml bottle of vodka
2 1/4 cups of water
3 cups sugar
Wash and dry the lemons and with a vegetable peeler, remove the rind only, leaving the pith intact.
Place the lemon peel in a kilner jar with a rubber seal lid.
Add the alcohol making sure the peel is covered.
Store in a cool, dark place shaking the jar once a day to agitate the lemon peel.
On the 13th day bring the water to boil in a saucepan add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved – allow to cool.
When the syrup is cool strain the mixture from the jars into the saucepan and stir for about one minute. Transfer back to the jars and store in a cool dark place for 3 weeks, shaking to agitate the liquid twice a day.
After three weeks transfer the limoncello to smaller bottles and store them in the freezer. Serve straight from the freezer!
There are two of my bottles ready for the freezer – ignore the jar behind them that’s a fruit compote – my son is coming for dinner tonight and we are having roast pork – in the absence of apple sauce I thought I would make this to serve with the meat – it is gorgeous……
And so, I might add is the limoncello – I just had to try a small glass – mmmmm enjoy!!!!
My partner and I were reminiscing last night over the cakes of our childhood – all home-made of course. Shop bought cake was not within my parents budget.
Ade had said that when he was a school boy he used to visit a friend’s house and the friend’s Mum taught them both to make a cake where the fruit had been soaked in tea for a couple of hours. He thought it was lovely at the time and earlier this week he had bought a Yorkshire tea cake for £2 which he thoroughly enjoyed too.
I had never cooked a cake with the fruit soaked in tea – brandy or rum yes – but never tea! But I said I would try to find the recipe for him.
This morning my friend Google found the very recipe and so I thought I would try it out just to make sure it worked.
I soaked 500 grams of dried fruit in 400 mls of freshly brewed tea (2 tea bags).
Then I stirred in 200grams muscovado sugar, 1 egg whisked with a little vanilla essence and 250 grams of self raising flour.
Turned it into a loaf tin – be warned this makes a 2lb loaf, my tin is only half the size so i made two! Also the tin should be greased and lined but I like to use non stick foil for these things.
Bake at 175C Gas mark 4 for 1.5 hours or if cooked in two smaller tin 45 minutes each.
What a result!
They look and smell gorgeous….
Are perfectly cooked…..
and taste amazing – all that plump fruit – beautiful eaten warm with butter on…
Gotta go now and put the kettle on – I know what will go down well with this – a nice cup of tea!!!