Saturday 8 December 2018

Christmas 2018 cake

It's not every year we make a Christmas cake, but it's prolly A Good Thing that we have a recipe. Nobody shd be coursing across the interweb or riffling through a dozen cook-books for Other Men's Flours [prev on Montaigne] - all slightly different. Just get yourself a recipe that suits that cake-tin which is in the rarely-used cupboard of your kitchen. Here's mine written, unaccountably in green ink in the mid 1980s:
Dau.II, aka Cookie, was home for the first weekend in December and that served as a catalyst to make a 2018 Xmas cake. The top right corner of the recipe page has been immersed in a solvent so it is not clear what to soak the dried fruit in: matter-a-damn, though, you're going to use what's available anyway:
  1. Wet things soaked over night:
    • 2 lb (900g) dried fruit: this year = (½  sultanas; ¼ glacĂ© cherries; ¼ chopped dried mixed fruit = 30%apricots+30%dates+20%figs+20% pears with added SO2; potassium sorbate; malic acid, citric acid (Alesto from Lidl)
    • slug brandy whiskey + juice of 1 lemon
  2. Dry things
    • 8 oz (225g) self-raising flour
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • ½ tsp mixed spice
    • pinch nutmeg
    • grated zest of lemon
    • 3 oz (80g) ground almonds
    • 4 oz (110g) flaked almonds
  3. Fat things
    • 8 oz (225g) butter, creamed with
    • 6 oz (175g) dark brown sugar beat till fluffy
    • 5 large eggs 
How: Line inside of 20 cm diameter x 9cm high cake tin with baking paper/parchment; including disks fro both top and bottom. Mix 1.Wet + 2.Dry then + 3.Fat. Dollop into tin and bake in a slow oven 140oC, 225oF, gas-mark 1; for ?4? hours until skewer comes out dry and cake comes from edge of tin. It is 2.5 lt in volume which calculates as 3 kg. Lot of thermal inertia in there: the cake was still warm 3 hours after removal from  oven. But it looks alright; I think it will do:
One year we made such a cake in late October and then a neighbour gave us one in the run-up to Christmas. We parked ours in a tin until the following year: it was fine. They say that, like wine and pheasant, fruit cake improves with age.

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