Christmas Cake Recipe

My mum is a whizz in the kitchen (unlike myself who is generally a disaster when it comes to anything more complicated than a cupcake) and every year she makes a Christmas cake… each time with a slightly different recipe. This year we tried the following:

  • 1kg Mixed Dried Fruit & Glacé Cherries
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Orange
  • 150ml Sherry
  • 250g Butter
  • 200g Brown Sugar
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 100g Ground Almond
  • 100g Flaked Almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Large Eggs

First pre-heat the oven to 150°C and cut out two sheets of baking paper to double line your cake tin. Then cut out two layers of newspaper to wrap around the outside of the tin and secure with string to prevent the cake from burning.

Zest and juice the orange and lemon, measure out the dried fruit, cherries, sherry, butter, sugar and almonds and add to a large pan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes and leave to cool.

Once the mixture is cool, measure out the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cloves and vanilla extract and eggs. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture evenly into the cake tin and bake for 2 hours.

Leave the cake to cool and then wrap in tin foil and place in an airtight container. Every fortnight, unwrap and feed the cake with 2 tbsp of sherry until you are ready to ice it.

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Rock Cake Recipe

The other day, I REALLY wanted some Rock Cakes. My grandma used to make wonderful ones, but sadly I never got around to asking her for the recipe. So I went in search for the recipe online.

I had no idea there were so many different variations! It’s impossible to know which one she followed, so I took my favourite ingredients from several that I found and went with that.

As usual my “Kitchen Experiment” gave me some interesting results. The first batch were far too sticky, the second batch I forgot to set the timer and ended up with a pile of incinerated blobs (whooops) and the third were too runny! I decided to try one last time before giving up… thankfully this time it worked!

The recipe I used in the end was as follows:

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 75g Butter
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 115g Currents
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 tbsp Milk

First pre-heat the oven to 200°C and cut out a sheet of baking paper to fit your baking tray.

Measure out the flour and baking powder, add to a bowl and then add the butter. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour as much as possible until it looks like breadcrumbs.

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Next measure out the sugar, currents and mixed spice and add them to the flour mixture. Then break the egg into a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly. Add the milk to the egg and pour into the flour and current mixture.

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Using a spoon, mix all the ingredients together to create a stiff dough. Divide the dough into several heaps onto the baking try, ensuring they are spaced well apart.

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Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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Writing this has made me want to make some more, hopefully with less disasters this time! If anyone has a different recipe for rock cakes, please do let me know, I’d love to try it!

Pumpkin Pies, Advent Calendars and other Christmas Crafts

December is here, which means I’ve been busy baking gingerbread cupcakes, cross-stitching Christmas cards, working on a wooden Christmas tree and making a dark chocolate Advent Calendar (which you can find out how to make here) among other things!

Another thing I attempted was pumpkin pie which I’ve always wanted to try, so mum and I decided to have a go at the recipe. We had to convert most of the measurements and use a little bit of guess work, but we ended up with a really nice pie at the end of it. The ingredients we used were:

  • 1 x 8 inch sweet pastry case
  • 2 x eggs
  • 1 x can of pumpkin purée
  • 170g of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 pint evaporated milk

First, Pre-heat your oven and mix the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves together in a bowl.

In another bowl, beat your eggs and stir in the pumpkin purée and then add in the mixed spices.

Gradually add in the evaporated milk, continue to stir until all of the ingredients have been fully mixed together, then pour the mixture into the pastry case.

Bake the pie at 220°C for 15 minutes and then lower to 175°C and bake for a further 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife in the centre comes out clean.

Leave the pie to cool and then refrigerate until required. Serve the pie with whipped cream.